Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture Will Explore the Role of Accountability in Contemporary Life

October 25, 2021

Living Accountably banner graphic

Scholars and practitioners will examine what it means to live accountably, in relation both to God and to others

WACO, Texas (October 25, 2021) – The annual Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture will focus on “Living Accountably,” featuring more than 90 speakers from a wide range of fields, including philosophy, medicine, history, theology, engineering, ministry, literature, and business. The symposium, hosted by Baylor University's Institute for Faith and Learning (IFL), will convene from Wednesday, October 27th, to Friday, October 29th. Most of the conference will take place on the Baylor campus in the Bill Daniel Student Center, 1311 S. Fifth St.

The largest scholarly conference convened annually at Baylor, the symposium will bring the resources of the Christian tradition to bear on the idea of “living accountably.” Although the notion of accountability is pervasive in contemporary life, such as in the repeated demands for elected officials to be held accountable, little attention has been paid to how accountability might be a positive force in all aspects of life.

It is easy to conceive of accountability first and foremost in hierarchical relationships, such as between an employee and employer. But what about accountability outside of hierarchies, such as in friendships? And to whom are humans accountable? How does accountability relate to other virtues? How can it be realized in diverse spheres like business, medicine, education, politics, and the church? Conference participants will explore these questions and more at the conference.

“My colleagues and I are incredibly encouraged by the response to this year’s focus on living accountably,” said Darin Davis, Ph.D., director of Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning and clinical professor of moral philosophy in the Honors Program. “Over the years, our symposium has grown into a significant gathering place for scholars, practitioners, and students to think together about some of the most pressing ideas of the day. We are delighted to see the symposium return in-person this year as we consider the importance of living accountably to both God and one another.”

Speakers include:
  • La Wonda Bornstein, president and chief executive officer for The House DC
  • Douglas A. Campbell, Ph.D., professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School and director of the Prison Studies Program
  • Joel A. Carpenter, Ph.D., senior research fellow and founding director of the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity at Calvin University
  • C. Stephen Evans, Ph.D., University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Baylor University, director of the Baylor Center for Christian Philosophy, and distinguished
    senior fellow in the Institute for Studies of Religion
  • Anne Snyder, editor-in-chief of Comment Magazine, host of “The Whole Person Revolution” podcast, creator of the blog “Of Souls & Silos,” and host of the web commons “Breaking Ground”
  • Eleonore Stump, Ph.D., Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University
  • Tyler J. VanderWeele, Ph.D., John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, director of the Human Flourishing Program, and co-director of the Initiative on Health, Religion and Spirituality at Harvard University
  • Miroslav Volf, Dr. Theol., Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology and founding director of Center for Faith & Culture at Yale University
  • Paul Wadell, Ph.D., professor emeritus of theology and religious studies at St. Norbert
Each year, the Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture addresses significant issues from the vantage point of Christian intellectual traditions. It thereby embodies Baylor University’s aspiration to cultivate reflective engagement with the world of public ideas and issues, especially in a way that acknowledges the relevance of Christian questions, convictions, and contributions. Featuring leading national and international scholars—and including a wide range of participants from varied denominational, private, and public universities—the symposium is convened by Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning.

Previous symposia have addressed such topics as Faith and Film, the Spirit of Sports, the Bible and the Reformation, Stewardship of Creation, and the Character of the University.

This year’s conference is hosted in partnership with The Accountability as a Virtue Project, generously supported by the Templeton Religion Trust, as well as Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion.

For a full schedule of events and additional speaker information, visit the Institute for Faith and Learning website or call 254-710-4805.

About the Institute for Faith and Learning

The Institute for Faith and Learning was founded in 1997 to assist Baylor in achieving its mission of integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment, and its goal of becoming a university of the first rank committed to its Baptist and Christian heritage. Since its founding, the Institute has developed several major programs in support of this mission, cultivating high- quality research, sponsoring conferences, mentoring students, and encouraging teaching faithful to the Christian intellectual traditions.