OBU’s fall Philosophy Forum series will begin with two lectures Sept. 9 and 10. Reverend Dr. Dru Johnson, associate professor of biblical and theological studies and director of the Center for Hebraic Thought at The King’s College in New York, will deliver a lecture on “The Philosophical Style of Scripture” Thursday, Sept. 9, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Bailey Business Center’s Tulsa Royalties Auditorium. Dr. Johnson’s second lecture, “Moses, Jesus and Mary: The Philosophical Starter Kit,” will take place Friday, Sept. 10, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., also in the Tulsa Royalties Auditorium.
For students, faculty and staff who seek to dive into questions concerning knowledge, reality and existence, Philosophy Forums serve to generate public conversation surrounding broader questions of philosophical importance on Bison Hill.
Johnson is a well-rounded scholar with a strong biblical backbone. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He then earned a Master of Divinity in theology from Covenant Theological Seminary. He went on to earn a Master of Arts in philosophy from the University of Missouri-St. Louis as well as a Ph.D. in theology from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Johnson is well versed in the ways of speaking specifically on biblically based philosophy. He is associate director for the Jewish Philosophical Theology Project at The Herzl Institute in Israel, an editor for the Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Biblical Criticism series and a co-host for the OnScript Podcast.
Dr. Tawa Anderson, associate professor of philosophy, organizes the Philosophy Forum series at OBU and is excited to welcome Johnson to campus for the opening two lectures of the fall.
“Dr. Johnson, an expert in Hebrew language and thought, counters the widespread but ill-informed understanding that the Old Testament is bereft of robust philosophical explorations,” Anderson said. “Many biblical scholars presume that the Hebrews engaged in theology but not philosophy, while their Egyptian and Mesopotamian neighbors advanced in philosophical sophistication. Ancient historians, on the other hand, have long recognized that it was the Hebrews that excelled in philosophy.
“Johnson seeks to encourage mainstream Christians in the pew to engage and enjoy the rich philosophical, and theological, insights in their Old Testaments. Dr. Johnson will challenge us to reconsider our understanding of what counts as philosophy and our conception of the Old Testament thought world.”
The third Philosophy Forum of the fall will take place Friday, Oct. 1, with guest lecturer Dr. Michael Strauss from the University of Oklahoma. He will discuss “Quantum Mechanics and the Sovereignty of God” at 4 p.m. in the Tulsa Royalties Auditorium of Bailey Business Center.
Anderson will then lead the fourth Philosophy Forum of the fall. His lecture on “Why We Should Want Christianity to Be True” will take place Friday, Nov. 5, from 4 to 5:15 p.m. in the Tulsa Royalties Auditorium.
The fifth and final forum of the fall semester will take place Friday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. Dr. Randy Ridenour, professor of philosophy, will deliver the lecture, also in Tulsa Royalties Auditorium inside Bailey Business Center.