What Is Man That Thou Art Mindful?

September 15--16, 2006

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers….what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor….O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” (Psalm 8: 3-9, NIV.)

What is man? Good question! Is man unique in the created order of things or, as neuro psychologist Michael Gazzaniga puts it when opining about the living human embryo, “That thing in a petri dish.

The Bryan Center for Critical Thought and Practice will address the essential question of the meaning of man in its September seminar as prologue to its November symposium on bioethics. If one can come to terms with the initial question, addressing the second will necessarily follow.
  • Dr. Michael Bauman, Professor of Theology and Culture and Director of the Christian Studies Program at Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Mich.
    Dr. Bauman earned his Ph.D. in theology and English literature at Fordham University and his M.A. in New Testament and church history at McCormick Theological Seminary. A prolific writer, Dr. Bauman is the author of 19 books, among them, Milton’s Arianism, and Roundtable: Conversations with European Theologians. His keynote topic will be "The First Adam and the Second."
  • Dr. Dennis Hollinger, Professor of Christian Ethics and President, Evangelical Theological Seminary, Myerstown, Pa.
    Dr. Hollinger received the B.A. from Elizabethtown College, the M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Theological School and the M. Phil. and the Ph.D. from Drew University. He has done post-doctoral studies at Oxford University. He has authored 60 articles in ethics, particularly bioethics. He sits on the Health Care Ethics Committee at Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill, Pa., and is a fellow with the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity in Bannockburn, Ill. His topic will be “Choosing the Good,” which is the title of one of his recent books.
  • Dr. Doug Kennard, Professor of Bible, Theology, and Philosophy, Bryan College, Dayton, Tenn.
    Dr. Kennard received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, the Th.M in biblical and systematic theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, the M.A. in philosophy of religion and history at Trinity Theological Seminary and the Th.D. in biblical and systematic theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. Among his books are Deliverance Now and Not Yet: The New Testament and Great Tribulation. (Peter Land, 2003) and The Relationship Between Epistemology, Hermeneutics, Biblical Theology and Contextualization (Mellen Press, 1999). His topic will be “Image and Soul."
  • Fr. Thomas Berg, Executive Director of the Westchester Institute for Ethics & The Human Person, Thornwood, NY.  Dr.  Berg earned the B.A. at The University of the State of New York, the Ph.B. at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, the M.A. in Liberal Studies at Wesleyan University, and the Ph.D. in philosophy at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome.  His topic will be "What Makes Man Moral?"  in the framework of Psalm 8:5, "You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings...."  Fr. Berg's focus will be a distillation of the Christian anthropology implicit in the Psalm in Aristotelian-Thomastic terms.