Food for Thought Lecture Series

The aim of our Food for Thought lecture series is to encourage undergraduate students to think about and discuss important issues related to the Philosophy of Religion.  Undergraduate students enjoy a talk given by an outside speaker, discussion led by graduate students at their tables, question and answer with the speaker, and a free catered meal. The events are held at Notre Dame.

Upcoming Lectures


"Should We Believe What We Don't Understand?"
February 21, 2017 - Lorraine Juliano Keller
Coleman-Morse Center, 1st Floor Lounge

Augustine of Hippo famously said, “Crede, ut intelligas”—“Believe, that you may understand”. Foundational doctrines of Christianity, such as the Trinity and the Incarnation, transcend unaided human reason. But not only have Christians over the centuries believed these mysteries, many have given their lives rather than deny them.

But how can you believe something that you don’t understand? And even if you could believe something without understanding it, wouldn’t this be irrational? Indeed, Christians are often accused of being irrational, gullible, silly, dogmatic or worse for holding so firmly to what lies beyond the grasp of human understanding. In light of these criticisms, many of us may feel that we ought not be so confident about our faith.

Are these criticisms apt—should we think the martyrs foolish for staking their lives on these mysteries? Or should we reconsider our own understanding of how faith works? 

We will discuss this question at this spring’s "Food for Thought," a dinner and discussion series open to undergraduates at the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College. Over a free catered dinner, participants will listen to Lorraine Juliano Keller, a research fellow in the Center for Philosophy of Religion at Notre Dame, give a brief talk. Then, they will discuss the talk with their peers, and follow up with Dr. Keller in a Q&A session. The event will take place in the first floor lounge of the Coleman-Morse Center beginning at 6:30pm on Tuesday, February 21st.

Registration is free and open to all undergraduates. To reserve your seat, RSVP now!

Past Lectures

"How tolerant can religious believers really be?" - Anne Jeffrey (University of South Alabama)

"Can Atheists Know Anything?" - Blake Roeber (Notre Dame)

"Felix Culpa!" - Hud Hudson (Western Washington University)

"Six words you say you believe: Some thoughts on the Nicene Creed" - Jeff Speaks (Notre Dame)

'Catching Fire: Discipline and Docile Bodies in the Hunger Games' - Christina Van Dyke (Calvin College)

'Plato, Confucius, Golf, and the Good Human Life' - Stephen Laumakis (University of St. Thomas)

'Faith, Reason, and the Knowledge of God' - Meghan Sullivan (Notre Dame)

'I Told Me So: Self-Deception and Morality in Everyday Life' - Gregg Ten Elshof (Biola University)

'Divine Hiddennes, Divine Life' - Trent Dougherty (Baylor), Michael Rea (Notre Dame), and Meghan Sullivan (Notre Dame)

'Beauty for Ashes: Evil, Suffering, and the Christian Roots of Jazz' - William Edgar (SUNY)

'Life, Death, Freedom: Jesus Questions Nietzsche' - Greg Ganssle (Yale)

'Does Evolution Explain (Away) Our Belief in God?' - Michael J. Murray (John Templeton Foundation)

‘Contemporary Issues in Hell: Hot Topics and High Stakes’ - Jerry Walls (Houston Baptist University)