I am Professor of Philosophy at a midsized Midwestern Lutheran college where I teach, challenge, provoke and mentor my fellow human beings to pursue capital-T Truth. As Roger Scruton puts it, "If a professor tells you that there is no such thing as truth, or that all truth is relative, he is telling you not to listen to him. So don't". Couldn't agree more. I want my students to be listening, for good reasons (pun intended!).
My question as a professor: What can philosophy do for confessional Lutheran thinking and what can confessional Lutheran thinking do for philosophy? Although I think this conversation ought to include thoughtful persons whatever the level of their commitment to Lutheran thinking, I myself hold an unqualified quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions. I've actually made a public promise to teach in line with Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions (in fact, I am an ordained Lutheran pastor with 30-plus years in the ministry).
We sometimes hear that religious piety undercuts our academic pursuit of truth. I accept and even welcome the tension this creates for me, day in and day out. On the one hand, I come to my intellectual commitments honestly, as the result of my ongoing thinking about Lutheran doctrine, to satisfy myself whether and to what extent (quatenus) it agrees with Scripture. On the other, I find that the Lutheran mode of thought -- in particular, our theology of the cross -- is deeply satisfying and winsome (see my recent book The Problem of Suffering for my thinking on this).
The central concept for me is that of the human being. I am in the process of articulating an existential and phenomenological understanding of human being (see my recent book Wednesday's Child) that further develops Luther's theological understanding, for example, in his 1536 Disputation Concerning Man.
This concept of the human being has significant impact on the teaching of ethics and on our conduct of life together, as indicated in the Foreward to Wednesday's Child by Professor Andrew Tallon of Marquette University. My book is searchable online at Amazon.com, Wednesday's Child: From Heidegger to Affective Neuroscience, A Field Theory of Angst. This concern with human being is especially crucial just now for my thinking and teaching ethics and bioethics, but it has wide-ranging application.
As a social human being, my aspiration is to live and lead with genuine INTEGRITY -- integrity as I have learned to know it in my professional life, teaching ethics while being a friend and outspoken advocate for my colleagues; and from my volunteer service, flying search and rescue, but especially teaching and cultivating the USAF core values in cadets and senior officers as a Lt Colonel in the Air Force's Civil Air Patrol. (Previously I served as an officer in the Mitchell Composite Squadron #9, a unit founded as a gateway for minority students in particular to contribute to community and national service through the CAP.) In these core values we articulate an understanding of leadership as, first and foremost, caring for your people. This is bedrock. I care for my students and colleagues. I care about the pursuit of truth. I care.
Motto: "Dare to think well; we cannot afford mediocrity!"
So, what do you think?
Gregory P. Schulz, DMin, PhD
Graduate and undergraduate courses in Philosophy and Theology
Philosophy: phenomenology and existential thought (AOS), particularly interested in Kierkegaard (including his "second authorship") and the early Heidegger and Wittgenstein; deontological ethics and bioethics in terms of philosophical anthropology (AOI)
Theology: Lutheran doctrine and practice of church and ministry (AOS), with special interest in Bonhoeffer, apologetics and the problem of evil (AOI)
For the my academic credentials, academic and ministerial experience, and for personal recommendations please see my LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=97814520&trk=tab_pro.