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PROVF Talks provides a “sampler” of Providence professors, courses
Is music universal? Is there a Christian case for accepting capitalism? What is a gospel, and what does a gospel do? What is personhood?
These are just some of the questions Providence professors will tackle during the 2016 PROVF Talks event, which will take place Thursday, November 24 at 10:00 a.m. in the lecture theatre.
Based on the format of the popular TED Talks, PROVF Talks will feature 12 bite-size lectures, each limited to 15 minutes. According to Dr. Dennis Hiebert, Professor of Sociology and head of the Providence University College Public Scholarship Committee, the presentations will serve as a sort of “prof sampler” for students who are considering certain courses for their future studies.
“It also lets them hear from professors they might never otherwise encounter because of their major,” he says.
For members of the public, who are welcome to attend for free, PROVF Talks provides a taste of the range of courses taught at Providence.
“The public supports us in many ways and it’s important we give back to them, especially in ways that help them know us better,” says Hiebert. “For people who don’t have the opportunity to take a whole course, this at least provides a little sample.”
Hiebert will be one of this year’s lecturers and will speak on the topic “Personhood: Not Who Am I, But What Am I?”
“The quintessential modern of “Who Am I?” addresses our sense of self and identity. But the question “What Am I?” is more foundational because it addresses the character of human being and personhood,” he explains. “A person is the entity that emerges from the interaction of multiple human capacities, all of which require social interaction, and the social scientific account of personhood is surprisingly similar to the Christian account.”
Hiebert is scheduled to present in the morning session (10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.; the afternoon session is 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.), although he doesn’t exactly know when he’ll be taking the stage.
“Because the next speaker is always chosen by draw there is a fun, random drama to the day,” he says. “Especially for the profs!”
(Photo: Dr. Dennis Hiebert.)


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