OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU Socratic Club debate to focus on ‘What is the Heart of Christianity?’

02/14/2007

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Socratic Club will feature a debate on the topic “What is the Heart of Christianity?” on Tuesday, Feb. 20, starting at 7 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center on campus. The speakers are OSU professors Marcus Borg and Gary Ferngren.

The speakers will present divergent views regarding the core beliefs of Christianity.

Borg, a professor of religion and culture, will argue for a new theological paradigm that reflects modern thought and differs from the dominant models of the past.

Ferngren, a professor of history, will argue that traditional Christian belief offers both a unique diagnosis of the human condition and a solution as relevant today as in Jesus’ time.

The debate grows out of Borg’s 2003 book, “The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith,” which suggests that Christianity needs to adapt its creed to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.

Borg is the Hundere Chair in Religious Studies at OSU. He will retire from OSU at the end of winter quarter. He is a widely recognized scholar, a member of the Jesus Seminar and the author of 14 books. Ferngren has taught at OSU since 1970. His books include “The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition” and “Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction.”

The Socratic Club is in its fifth year as a student organization at OSU. It is modeled on the original Socratic Club, which was founded at Oxford University in 1941 by C. S. Lewis.

Each speaker is given 20 minutes to present one side of an issue, after which the two discuss their differences before the floor is opened to questions from members of the audience. Two events are planned for each quarter.

For information go to http://oregonstate.edu/groups/socratic.