Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Mother Ship

Filed under: Catholicity — Paul Owen

I struggle as a Protestant who longs for catholicity over the dogma of Mary’s bodily assumption into heaven.

That being said, we do not know that Mary did NOT ascend bodily into heaven.


That being said, we do not know that Mary was NOT taken up by the Mother Ship and whisked away to Alpha Centuri. It is foolish for ufologists to insist that this could not have happened to Mary, when it has in fact happened to abductees of a lesser dignity. It would be better for us to keep our hands on our mouths.

I struggle as a ufologist who longs for first contact over the dogma of Mary's alien abduction.

According to Erich von Däniken's commentary on Rev 12, this passage is best understood as a symbolic depiction of little green men.

Filed under: Ufology — Agent Mulder


  1. Completely off-topic; feel free to delete.

    Do any of you know any Christian philosophers that graduated from (or are currently part of) a top US philosophy PhD program (e.g. NYU, Princeton, U Michigan, Harvard, MIT, etc.)?

    I know Plantinga and Frame are Yale guys, but Yale isn't really a power house (anymore) and the school is kind of oddly religious to begin with.

    It seems that most Christian philosophers go to Europe (e.g. King's College/Oxford or Edinburg). It also appears that Christian philosophers are never faculty of major university philosophy programs after they finish (Notre Dame being the notable exception for obvious reasons).

    Is this right? Maybe I just don't know them.

  2. Anonymous,

    [1] I think you've answered your own question in this last parenthetical comment. What is the "obvious reason" that ND is a notable exception? Because it's an explicitly Christian institution, and you would *expect* Christian faculty there. Other things being equal, most secular schools aren't interested in explicitly Christian faculty at their institutions, correct? Isn't that part of the reason why Plantinga, van Inwagen, Flint, and Freddoso are at Notre Dame in the first place? Isn't it *because* Yale is "oddly religious" that you found the Adams family, and Wolterstorff, there? I'm not sure this phenomenon somehow counts against the notion that Christian philosophy (or philosophers) can cut it in the secular world.

    [2] Also, what do you mean by "Christian philosophers"? Do you mean specialists in their field who happen to be Christians? Or does you mean committed Christians who explicitly bring their Christian convictions to their philosophizing? Again, if the latter, then it's no wonder you don't find such folk at secular institutions that are committed to "diversity". If it's the former, it's hard to say, as there might be a lot of Christians who are doing good work philosophically speaking, but they don't work their Christian profession into their main body of work. Unless I'm mistaken, Tim McGrew (current chairman of the dept. of philosophy at Western Michigan University; PhD from Vanderbilt) fits into this latter category. There are probably others.

    [3] Also, cultures and university scenes change, but that has little to no bearing on quality of work. I'm sure there were few agnostics and atheists as prominent faculty at medieval universities, but that doesn't cut against agnosticism and atheism.

    I guess I could toss out a few names, though There is Linda Zagzebski, who is currently the chair of the philosophy of religion and ethics at Univ. of Oklahoma. She got her PhD at UCLA.

    Eleonore Stump is at St. Louis University, which Brian Leiter's Philosophical Gourmet Report ranks as second in philosophy in religion, in the nation. Her PhD is from Cornell.

    Scott MacDonald is Chair of the Philosophy Dept. at Cornell Univ. (and Professor in Christian Studies). Again, the Gourmet Report ranks Cornell fourth in the nation in terms of strength of program in phil of rel. His PhD is from Cornell.

    God has chosen the foolish things to shame the wise. But not *only* the foolish :-)

  3. Greg,

    Thanks for responding.

    I hope that you don't find my question suggesting that "Christian philosophy (or philosophers) can[not] cut it in the secular world." I'm really just wondering about something I've observed.

    If you don't mind me asking, I would be curious about your own experience. When you applied to grad programs, did you only apply to schools in Europe, or did you apply to Princeton, etc.?

    Also, after you graduated from Oxford, did you try to find employment at "secular" universities, or were you only interested in teaching at a seminary?

    If that's too personal, ignore me.

  4. Anonymous,

    To tell you the truth, you will learn a lot from non-Christian philosophers. Here at Rutgers, there is Dean Zimmerman and many great philosophers. John Hawthorne who is sympathetic to Christianity is here during Spring. There is also Ted Sider, Peter Klein, Alvin Goldman, etc here whom you can benefit from as well as the great Ernie Sosa. John Greco is in St. Louis now I think but may be in Fordham in some semesters.

    Christian philosophers, believe it or not, are respected in the secular schools. I would advice you this way. It depends on what you want to do. Do you want to teach at a big university? If so, applying to the top philosophy programs in the U.S. would be good. If you graduate from Rutgers, for example, you can go anywhere afterwards.


  5. Quite a helpful little discussion on Christians working in philosophy.

    I have a question: Is there typically departmental funding for MA students? At least as far as I understand, most financial aid seems to be given to those working on their PhDs. But how does it look at the MA level, say, at Rutgers? Or do most MA students tend to pay for their own education (take out loans, etc.)?


  6. Patrick,

    As far as I know, most major departments don't offer a terminal MA. PhD is the only option. In my experience, the programs that do offer terminal MA's don't offer any fellowships or TA-ships to those students.

  7. Anonymous 2 (anonymity is tough):

    I'm Anonymous 1. I'm not a Christian, so I definitely believe I can "learn a lot from non-Christian philosophers." ;-)

    You said, "Christian philosophers, believe it or not, are respected in the secular schools."

    That hasn't been my experience. I'm only at a middling program, though, not a major one (well, it's major in my field, but not overall).

    There is a guy at Rutgers who is a Fuller Seminary and Yale Divinity graduate (as am I, before my deconversion, obviously). If you are not him, do you know him, and do you know if he has had any trouble there?

  8. Anonymous,

    I guess one must be a bit cunning to do it too. I know that Plantinga, Alston, van Inwagen, etc are respected. I also know other Catholic philosophers who are respected. But you have to be a bit careful in some ways.

    I also know graduate students who are openly Catholic or Christian who are respected (ie. Trent Dougherty). Here at Rutgers, we just had a philosophy of religion conference. The interest in philosophy of religion is growing.

    I have a guess who you are talking about, but I am n ot sure who he is. you can email me if it is too personal. email me at AVBCL111 at aol dot com.