2019 Rothermel Events

As has become traditional in the New Bern community, the Rothermel Foundation will sponsor two educational events in 2019.

Sunday, April 7, 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church of New Bern:  Faces of Alzheimer’s Disease Research, presented by Dr. Carol Colton, Professor in Neurology, Duke University School of Medicine.

 Dr. Carol Colton is leader of a research team in the Neurology Department of  Duke University Medical Center that is lauded for its cutting edge technology and its approach to solving the medical puzzle that is Alzheimer’s Disease. Before Alzheimer’s research begun, dementia was just a part of old age.  We now recognize that there are potential ways to age normally without the loss of one’s self to a disease.  Join us to learn why the focus has shifted to prevention and away from late-stage treatment.

Sunday, October 6, 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church of New BernSex, Race, and Politics: Explaining the Division between the Religious Left and Religious Rightpresented by Dr. Daniel K. Williams, Professor of History, University of West Georgia.

In 1950, there was little discernible difference between American mainline Protestant and northern white evangelical views of race, gender, and sexuality.  Nor was there any difference in their political views.  By 1970, there was.  Evangelicals and mainline Protestants took opposing positions on the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, and the sexual revolution, and those differences led each group to embrace a very different set of political values.  The polarization between these two groups ofcontinues to exacerbate the political divisions in the nation even today.

If you would like a better understanding of the different theological assumptions of “red” and “blue” Christians and the historical forces that led to this division, please join us for this talk.

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October 7, 2018: Concepts of God

2:00 pm – First Presbyterian Church of New Bern


Andrei A. Buckareff, PhD

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Cognitive Science Program

Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Dr. Buckareff holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Rochester. He earned his Bachelor’s degree at Biola University, an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and M.A.’s in Philosophy from Texas A&M and University of Rochester.

He was awarded a John Templeton Foundation Grant, with Yujin Nagasawa (University of Birmingham) for the project, “Exploring Alternative Concepts of God” 2011-2013 and again for “The Pantheism and Panentheism Project” 2017-2019.

Abstract of October 7 Presentation

In the west, the concept of God is most often understood in the general terms outlined by traditional or “classical” theism. God on such an account is understood as a supernatural being who created the universe ex nihilo and is all-powerful, all-knowing, and morally perfect. Moreover, God is understood by most as a personal agent who intervenes in the natural causal order from time to time. But while this way of thinking of God has been dominant in the west, there have been exceptions to it.

Rather than examine all of the variants of traditional theism, Dr. Buckareff will focus on some common problems faced by traditional theism discussed in the philosophy of religion that have motivated some philosophers and theologians to consider alternative conceptions of the divine. Specifically, he will discuss the evidential problem of evil for traditional theism based on the existence of gratuitous suffering and worries about the possibility of causal activity in the world by a being that lacks any spatio-temporal location. He will then examine two alternatives to traditional theism, one is a variant of panentheism and the other is a version of pantheism.

Dr. Buckareff will interact with audience members by way of written questions.

All Rothermel Foundation events are free and open to the public.



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