Jim SpiegelProfessor of Philosophy & Religion
Dissertation: "The Apologetics of George Berkeley"
MA, Philosophy, University of Southern Mississippi, 1988
Thesis: "The Complex Nature of Evaluative Terms in Some of Their Uses"
BS, Biology, Belhaven College, 1985
Why I Enjoy Teaching at Taylor
I love teaching at Taylor for many reasons, but especially because: (1) my students and colleagues are a joy to be around, (2) our faculty are encouraged to teach and do scholarly research from a Christian perspective and (3) the university effectively balances student learning and residence life.
As for faith and learning “integration,” I actually don’t like that term as much as the idea of simply doing teaching and scholarship Christianly, the key idea being that one’s theological commitments and disciplinary work should never be separate such that they would ever need to be integrated or brought together. A Christian faith perspective has implications for every discipline, and this is especially true of Philosophy.
I try to read broadly, both fiction and non-fiction. My favorite writers are Montaigne, Dostoevski, Flannery O’Connor, and John Updike. I am also a fan of film and rock music, and these interests have resulted in several publications, including a volume I edited entitled Faith, Film, and Philosophy, as well as some contributions to the Open Court volumes Bob Dylan and Philosophy and The Beatles and Philosophy. My wife and I blog on assorted issues related to books, film, music, and popular culture at “Wisdom and Folly”.
Major Career Accomplishments
On the scholarly front, I have been doing a lot of work lately on the virtues, especially the intellectual virtue of open-mindedness. My long-term goal is to publish a monograph on the subject, with special attention to showing how open-mindedness and religious devotion are compatible. My next scholarly book, to be entitled Faithful Learning in Philosophy (P&R Press), will focus on how philosophical studies can inform Christian thought and practice. And my next book for a general readership will deal with the challenges of living Christianly in contemporary American culture and how failure to recognize the challenges to faith in our time often results in the abandonment of faith for many young converts.
Major career publications
- "Unreasonable Doubt", Christianity Today (Spring 2011)
- The Making of An Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief. Moody Press. 2010
- "Berkeley's Immaterialism" chapter, published in Themes in Ancient and Modern Philosophy, edited by Jill Graper Hernandez. Kendall-Hunt. 2009
- The Love of Wisdom. B&H Press (Spring 2009)
- Gum, Geckos and God. Zondervan. 2008
Spiegel is the faculty advisor for Taylor's Ethics Bowl team.
Read about the 2015-2016 team.