OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Speakers to debate paths to God at Socratic Club

10/14/2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. –The OSU Socratic Club will sponsor a debate on the topic "Are There Many Paths to God?" on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in Gilfillan Auditorium on the OSU campus. The speakers are two theologians, Todd Miles and Frodo Okulam. 

The debate is free and open to the public. It will explore two schools of religious thought - exclusivists, who argue for a single approach to God, and pluralists, who maintain that all paths to God are of equal value. The speakers will offer divergent points of view.

Miles will argue that a foundational belief of Christianity, that Jesus is the son of God, provides a unique path to God. Okulam maintains that there are many ways to apprehend the divine, of which Christianity is only one. 

Miles is associate professor of theology and hermeneutics at Western Seminary in Portland. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor and master’s degrees from OSU in nuclear engineering. Miles is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society. His latest book is “A God of Many Understandings? The Gospel and Theology of Religions.”

Okulam obtained her doctorate in ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary/Marylhurst University, and a master’s degree in theology from Mount Angel Seminary. She is an assistant professor of women's studies at Portland State University. Oklum is the author of “The Julian Mystique: Her Life and Teachings.” She is the founder and coordinator of an eclectic women's spirituality group called SisterSpirit.

The Socratic Club is beginning its ninth year as a student organization at OSU. It is modeled on the original Socratic Club, which was founded at Oxford University in 1941. At OSU it offers a forum for opposing points of view on subjects of contemporary debate at the intersection of Christian belief and contemporary culture. Each speaker presents one side of an issue, the two query each other regarding their differences, and the floor is then opened to questions from members of the audience.

Two events are planned for each quarter. More information is available online at http://oregonstate.edu/groups/socratic