The Department of Religion and Philosophy at Lebanon Valley College will host a conversational debate between Dr. Michael Kitchens, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Matthew Sayers, associate professor of religion, on Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 7-8:30 p.m., in Leedy Theater of the Mund College Center. The event is free and open to the public, and will also be streamed via a live webcast available at https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/detail?uuid=M5UTGHK6V7VKCEE2OS8Z0MDM2N-2CDR&rnd=721590.51215.
In conjunction with the course REL 311: The God Debate, of which Kitchens and Sayers are co-instructors, the informal debate is intended to engage the perennial debate about the existence of God and touch upon the key themes that thinkers have considered in the ongoing effort to understand the big questions of life. Dr. Jeffrey Robbins, professor of religion and chair of the Department, will serve as the moderator.
Kitchens will be arguing from a Christian perspective that the Triune God of the Bible exists, and the only way one can accurately and cohesively make sense of reality is by taking into account God’s existence and God’s covenantal relationship with His creation.
Kitchens has been a member of the LVC faculty for seven years. He teaches introductory courses in psychology, introductory and advanced research courses, specialty-area courses in social psychology and the science of emotion, as well as specialty-courses in the general education program. Kitchens received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mobile, and earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi. His training is in experimental social psychology. His research interests are in processes of the self, emotion, and the application of psychology to faith.
Sayers will be arguing the atheist position. He will be arguing that the concept of God is inherently incoherent, religious expressions of the divine are internally contradictory, and that it is almost always unreasonable to believe in God.
Sayers has been a member of the LVC faculty for six years. He teaches courses on a wide variety of topics including courses on death, evil, God, race and religion, various religious traditions, religious studies methods, courses on scripture, and Sanskrit. Sayers received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and earned his master’s degree at Florida State University and his Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on the traditional of ancestral ritual in Hinduism.