Past Events and Features

ECU Philosophy Alums Make Their Marks in Religion

Joseph G. Wolyniak
BA in Philosophy, 2004
Episcopal Chaplain, Princeton University

Joseph G. WolyniakWolyniak comes to the Diocese of New Jersey after serving as Missioner for Discipleship & Theological Education in the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, where he worked in the Office of Faith Formation in support of campus ministries at several colleges and universities across the state. He was ordained to the transitional diaconate and completed his Doctorate of Philosophy in Theology from the University of Oxford in June, 2016.

Wolyniak has served in multiple chaplaincy settings, including working with undergraduates and seminarians at Duke University Chapel, graduate students and fellows at Saint John’s College Chapel-Oxford, and a variety of students and staff at the multi-campus outreach of Raleigh Episcopal Campus Ministry.

Billy Atwell
BA in Philosophy, 2008
Chief Communications Officer

Billy AtwellBilly Atwell has been appointed Chief Communications Officer for the Arlington, Virginia Diocese by Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge effective Aug. 1, 2017. He will report directly to the Office of the Bishop, serve as the diocesan spokesperson, and directly oversee the Office of Communications, the Arlington Catholic Herald, media relations, publications, and digital and social media. Since 2014, Atwell has served as Director of Communications for the Diocese of Raleigh. Prior to that, he was Director of Communications for the Diocese of Venice, Fla., and also held positions in digital communications, program management and public policy in the Washington, D.C., area.

Archived Events

Fall 2018

Religious Studies Program Presents:

“The Myth of Persecution: How persecution radicalizes and polarizes in the ancient and modern worlds.”
by Dr. Candida Moss

Click for Myth info (PDF)

Spring 2018

“The Curious Relationship between the Sciences and the

by Rebecca Goldstein
National Humanities Medalist

Click for Medalist info (PDF)

Symposium on Religion and Public Health
with Keynote Speakers
Dr. John Blevins & Dr. Ellen L. Idler

THCAS Religious Studies Program
Click for Symposium info (PDF)

Fall 2017

Downtown Dialogues in the Humanities
Newcomb’s Paradox: A Puzzle of Rational Decision Making

at the

 Greenville Museum of Art
Click for Dialogues info (PDF)

Fall 2016

Imprisoned Youth: Life Sentences for Minors

Click for Premier Event info (PDF)

A Wellness Passport Event
Humanities on Trial: The Case of Philosophy

Click for Wellness Event info (PDF)

On October 19th the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies held a Wellness Passport Event, “Humanities on Trial: The Case of Philosophy.” The event was held in Bate 1010 and the room was filled. The question was posed: Should philosophy her part of a university education? Arguments for and against a yes answer were presented by a panel consisting of Dr. George Bailey (philosophy), Dr. Henry Jacoby (philosophy), Dr. Mike Veber (philosophy), Mr. Pafford (ECU alum and Greenville attorney), and ECU students Alex Nolte, Sara Smith and Katie Chandler. The audience participated in a lively discussion. At the end of the event a vote was taken on whether philosophy matters. One person was undecided and everyone else who voted said “yes.”

On October 26th the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies held a Wellness Passport Event, “God in the Voting Booth–Religion and Politics: A Panel Discussion.” The event was held in Brewster C-103. The room was filled to capacity with students, faculty and members of the community. A panel discussion was followed by questions from the audience. Dr. Tom Eamon (Political Science) , Dr. Lee Johnson (Religious Studies), and Dr. Brad Lockerbie (Political Science). Dr. Calvin Mercer (Religious Studies) were the panelist . The event was reported on the front page of the Sunday October 28th edition of the Daily Reflection. The Reflector article noted of associate professor Lee Johnson that she ” has researched religion, power and gender in the ancient world. Johnson has designed a new introductory course, which she will begin teaching next year, called “Use and Abuse of the Bible,” which explores how the Bible is used to defend positions on social issues like homosexuality, divorce and the death penalty.”

Dr. Mike Veber, a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, presented a research paper entitled “A Different Kind of Dream Argument” at the Southeastern Epistemology Conference hosted by the University of South Alabama in Mobile. In addition, upon being invited to do so, and just before heading for the airport, Dr. Veber gave a surprise guest lecturer based on his conference paper topic to an upper division undergraduate epistemology class in the USA philosophy department. The lecture was well received by the USA students. (Dr. Veber was not compensated for giving the lecture.)

Dr. George Bailey, chairperson of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, made two panel presentations addressing the issue “what is critical thinking and how to teach it?” at a Critical Thinking symposium involving all 16 UNC campuses held in Charlotte, NC and sponsored by the UNC General Administration. ECU sent a delegation of 12 people to the symposium. Other attendees from the Harriot College were Dr. Derek Maher, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Dr. Tracy Morse, English, Dr. Jean-Luc Scemama, Biology and Dr Wendy Sharer, English.

Spring 2016

Michael E. Tigar

Internationally acclaimed attorney Michael E. Tigar speaks to ECU Philosophy Club and Pre-Law Society

On April 6, 2016, attorney Michael E. Tigar gave a highly informative talk to members of the ECU Philosophy Club, the ECU Pre-Law Society and interested faculty. Mr. Tigar (Professor Emeritus at Duke University) discussed a some of his more notable cases, including his defense of Terry Nichols in the Oklahoma Bombing case, his successful work with the African National Congress to free Nelson Mandella, and many others. He provided students with a deep, historically grounded understanding of what it means to be an advocate for justice, in the past and now. In 1999, the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice group named him the third greatest lawyer of the century, after Clarence Darrow and Thurgood Marshall.

Admitted Students Day a Success!Alex Nolte and Professor. Mike Veber

Philosophy major Alex Nolte and Professor. Mike Veber discuss the philosophy department’s “Brain in a Vat” display during “Admitted Students Day in Minges Coliseum.”

“Brain in a Vat”

Brain in VatThe “Brain in a Vat” that was displayed by the philosophy department at the Admitted Students Day event in Minges Coliseum April 2nd, 2016. This display called attention to a significant philosophical problem in Epistemology (theory of knowledge): You are quite certain that you are not a brain in a vat. Yet it is impossible for you to prove this. How do you know that you are not a brain in a vat, wired to a computer that is producing everything you experience? If you were a brain in a vat wired to a computer, you would be having exactly the same experiences as you are right now! How do you know that you are not a brain in a vat? If you are curious, contact Dr. Veber