Prof C. Stephen Evans: ACU Philosophy Public Winter Lecture

Published: Friday 13th June 2014

Free Public Lecture

Date: Wednesday 25 June, 2014
Time: 6 - 7.30pm
Location: Mercy Lecture Theatre, ACU Melbourne campus, Young Street, Fitzroy.

ACU Professorial Fellow, Prof C. Stephen Evans, Is There a Natural Knowledge of God?

Prof C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Baylor University, and ACU Professorial Fellow, is a prolific author on the work of the 19thc Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. Prof Evans will speak in defence of the tradition of ‘natural theology’ in response to various philosophers and theologians over the last century who have voiced reservations about its efficacy.

He will defend the claim that there is a natural knowledge of God that is rooted in “natural signs” for God, such as a global sense of wonder about the world and a global sense of gratitude for one’s own existence. These signs satisfy two “Pascalian constraints” on evidence for God: they are both widely available and easily resistible. Such signs may not give us clear knowledge of the God of Christianity, with all the traditional theistic attributes, but they do make reasonable the view that the natural world points beyond itself to a mystery that that is its transcendent ground. Contemporary cognitive psychology provides support for the claim that there is a natural tendency to form a belief in God on the basis of distinctive experiences.