University of Notre Dame


Mind, Soul, World: Consciousness in Nature

March 14 12:00 - 11:59PM
EVENT TYPE: Get Cultured, Work Your Intellect LOCATION: 104 McKenna Hall

Faculty Host:

A Templeton Colloquium offered by Professor David Bentley Hart, Templeton Fellow at the NDIAS, March 14-15, 2016

In this two-day Templeton Colloquium, Professor David Hart will explore the mystery of consciousness (the entirety of mental life), posing critical questions such as the place of nature within mind, and probing more traditional assumptions about the physicalist emergentist accounts of the origins of consciousness. In dialogue with other scholars he will take up the idea that careful reflection on the nature of consciousness yields an understanding of consciousness to which certain classical understandings of the soul (Western and Eastern) may prove far better suited than more materialist reductionist approaches.

This colloquium, made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation and a grant to the NDIAS, brings together scholars from history and philosophy of science, philosophy, and theology to examine critical topics about consciousness including whether consciousness can evolve or emerge from matter, intentionality and the transcendental ends of consciousness, classical metaphysics of the soul, Eastern contributions to the understanding of consciousness, and the soul and the whole of being.

The Colloquium schedule includes:

Monday, March 14, 2016
· 9:00 to 10:30 am Introduction (with David Hart and Brad S. Gregory)
· 11:00 am to 12:30 pm “The Problems with the Materialist Reduction of Consciousness” (with Gerald McKenny, Janet Soskice,and Luke Wright)
· 2:00 to 3:30 pm “Can Consciousness Evolve or Emerge from Matter?” (with Stephen R. L. Clark, Celia Deane-Drummond, and Michael Hanby)
· 4:00 to 5:30 pm “Intentionality and the Transcendent Ends of Consciousness” (with John Betz, Gretchen Reydams-Schils, and David C. Schindler)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
· 9:00 to 10:30 am “The Classical Metaphysics of the Soul” (with Paul Griffiths, John Milbank, and Anna Bonta Moreland)
· 11:00 am to 12:30 pm “Eastern Contributions to the Understanding of Consciousness” (with Robert Gimello, Brad Malkovsky, and R. Trent Pomplun)
· 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. “The Soul and the Whole of Being” (with William Desmond, Jennifer Newsome Martin, and Cyril O’Regan)
· 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Conclusions and Discussion of Closing Thoughts and Comments (with David Hart and Brad S. Gregory)

No registration is necessary. Panel sessions will be held March 14 and 15, 2016, in McKenna Hall, rooms 100-104. All sessions are open to the University community and the general public and will be simulcast live via the NDIAS website. For schedule and session information, a list of presenters, simulcast access, and a copy of the pre-circulated introductory paper, please visit the Colloquium website at: or contact Donald Stelluto, Associate Director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, at

Biography of David Bentley Hart

_David Hart is the recent holder of the Danforth chair at St. Louis University and currently serves as a Templeton Fellow at the NDIAS. He specializes in philosophical theology, systematics, patristics, classical and continental philosophy, and Asian religion. His most recent work focuses on the genealogy of classical and Christian metaphysics, ontology, the metaphysics of the soul, and the philosophy of mind.

He is the author of The Beauty of the Infinite (2003); The Doors of the Sea (2005); In the Aftermath (2007); Atheist Delusions (2009); and The Experience of God (2013). He has also published a popular history of Christianity (2007), a volume of short stories, and over 150 articles in such scholarly journals as Modern Theology, The Scottish Journal of Theology, and Pro Ecclesia, as well as in such trade publications as The Times Literary Supplement, The Wall Street Journal, First Things, and Commonweal.

Professor Hart has earned prestigious fellowships at the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton and the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study and he has served in visiting faculty appointments at Duke Divinity School and the University of Virginia. He was named the Robert J. Randall Chair in Christian Culture at Providence College in 2006 and, in 2011, Professor Hart was awarded the Michael Ramsey Prize of the Church of England._