09:54 AM

UST ’s Dr. Mirela Oliva Creates Symposium to Enhance Public Presence of Humanities in Houston

An intriguing event, “Houston Symposium in Philosophy of Religion,” founded by University of St. Thomas-Houston’s Rudman Chair of Philosophy Dr. Mirela Oliva, will hold its first gathering Saturday, Feb. 11, 1 – 4 p.m., at the Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH). While the event is academic, the wonderful opportunity is open to the public at no charge. 

Need for this Symposium

Oliva explained the need for such a symposium. “Houston has a wonderful cultural life, with many events and spaces dedicated to science, music and the visual arts. However, humanities like philosophy, theology and religious studies are less represented, even though there is much public interest.”

Vision for the Series

The professor envisions a regular series of talks, ideally twice a semester, delivered by local faculty and graduate students working in philosophy of religion, which is Oliva’s primary expertise.

“The museum’s unique emphasis on education and inter-religious dialogue makes it the perfect venue for what we’re doing,” Oliva said. “HMH Director of Education Wendy Warren generously agreed to have the museum host the event and donate the space.”

Three speakers will present at the inaugural symposium:

  • Dr. Niki Kasumi Clements, Rice University, “Our Noonday Demon” 
  • Dr. Luis Oliveira, University of Houston, “The Problem of Evil”
  • Dr. Jerry Walls, Houston Christian University, “C.S. Lewis on Purgatory”

Dr. Oliva, who will moderate the discussion, said, “I invited the speakers based on their expertise in the philosophy of religion. I’m very grateful that they agreed to give talks and help start the symposium.”

RSVP Please

Although the Feb. 11 event is free, your RSVP is requested for planning purposes. Please RSVP here.