Keynote Speakers

John Baxter
John Baxter is Professor of English at Dalhousie University. He is the author of Shakespeare’s Poetic Styles (1980; rpr. Routledge, 2005) and co-editor of Aristotle’s Poetics by George Whalley (McGill-Queen’s, 1997).

Selected recent articles include: “‘My Shakespeare, rise’: Ben Jonson’s Celebration of His Shakespeare,” Cahiers Elizabethain: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies. Vol. 90.1 (2016): 30-41; “The Aristotle-Coleridge Axis Revisited,” Proceedings of the 2015 George Whalley Conference, (Fall, 2016); and “Tying the Knot in Othello,” Essays in Criticism 64.3 (July, 2014): 266-92. His essay, “Perilous Stuff: Poems of Religious Meditation,” Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 62. 2 (Winter, 2010): 89-115, was the winner of the 2012 Joseph M. Swartz Memorial Prize ($1000).

He is currently an Executive Council member of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, and he has been, for several years, an active member of the Shakespeare Association of America, organizing a seminar on “Aristotle, Jonson, and Shakespeare” for the SAA conference in Toronto (March, 2013) and participating in a seminar on “Religion and/as Language,” for the SAA conference in New Orleans (March, 2016).

Christina Bieber Lake


Christina Bieber Lake
is the Clyde S. Kilby professor of English at Wheaton College where she teaches classes in contemporary American literature and literary theory. Lake has authored several essays on Flannery O’Connor as well as a monograph entitled The Incarnational Art of Flannery O’Connor (Mercer UP, 2005). Her most recent book is Prophets of the Posthuman: American Fiction, Biotechnology, and the Ethics of Personhood (University of Notre Dame press, 2013). This book explores, through a wide variety of fictional narratives, the ethical implications of the revolution in human enhancement technology. It was awarded Indiana Wesleyan University’s 2014 Aldersgate prize for integrative scholarship, as well as the Catholic press association’s award in the category of faith and science.

Dr. Lake is completing work on a book-length project entitled Beyond the Story: American Fiction and the Limits of Materialism, which argues that contemporary American storytelling is an act of love for persons that inherently resists scientific naturalism’s account of human experience. She lives in Wheaton, Illinois with her husband, Stephen (an Anglican priest), and their son, Donovan.


Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is the author of Thinking Woman: A Philosophical Approach to the Quandary of Gender (Cascade Books, 2015) and the editor of The Devil’s Whore: Reason and Philosophy in the Lutheran Tradition (Fortress Press, 2011, reprinted IA Books, 2015). She has written several articles and book chapters on the treatment of faith and reason in the works of Augustine and Luther as well as published essays on the same topic in regard to the works of such philosophers as Kierkegaard, Hildegard of Bingen, Nietzsche, and Pope John Paul II.

Her works include “Bodies, Desire and Sexuality,” in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion: Martin Luther: Theology and Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2017); “Introduction to Luther and Augustine on Human Agency,” in Contemporary Currents with Augustine and Luther (Cambridge Scholars, 2014); and “Fides et Ratio and the Graceful Redemption of Philosophy,” in Faith and Reason: The Notre Dame Symposium 1999 (St Augustine’s Press, 2001).

Douglas Kries


Douglas Kries
completed a joint doctoral program in theology at Boston College and Andover Newton Theological School in 1988. He has taught in theology, classics, and religious studies departments, but he has worked primarily within the philosophy department at Gonzaga University, recently completing a decade of service as the Bernard J. Coughlin, S.J., Professor of Christian Philosophy at Gonzaga.

His books include Augustine: Political Writings, Piety and Humanity: Essays on Religion and Early Modern Political Philosophy, and The Problem of Natural Law. A new, introductory work, written with Brian Clayton and titled Two Wings: Integrating Faith and Reason, is forthcoming from Ignatius Press. His articles have appeared especially in The Review of Politics and The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. He has also served as co-director for an NEH Summer Institute for College Teachers titled Medieval Political Philosophy: Islamic, Jewish, and Christian. He is the co-editor of Rochester Studies in Medieval Political Thought. His own writings are principally concerned with the intersection of faith, philosophy, and politics; his current work is on the political implications of Augustine’s Confessions, particularly as they pertain to art.

Dr. Albert M. Wolters


Albert M. Wolters
is professor emeritus at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. He has a B.A. in classics (Calvin College, 1964), a Ph.D. in philosophy (Free University, Amsterdam, 1972), and an M.A. in Religious Studies (McMaster University, 1987). From 1974 to 1984 he was Senior Member in the history of philosophy at the graduate Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, and from 1984 to his retirement in 2008 he was professor of Religion and Theology/Classical Languages at Redeemer.

Apart from many scholarly articles, his publications include the following: Plotinus “On Eros.” A Detailed Exegetical Study of Enneads III,5 (Toronto: Wedge Publishing Foundation, 1984), Creation Regained. Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984; second edition 2005), which has been translated into a dozen languages, The Copper Scroll. Overview, Text and Translation (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), The Song of the Valiant Woman. Studies in the Interpretation of Proverbs 31:10-31 (Paternoster, 2001), and Zechariah (Historical Commentary on the Old Testament; Leuven: Peeters, 2014). He is currently working on a commentary on the Septuagint of Proverbs (Leiden: Brill).

His current research interests include biblical studies, the theology of cultural engagement, and Christian sexual ethics.