Wagoner to deliver keynote at University of Frankfurt

Davis & Elkins College Assistant Professor Dr. Bryan Wagoner has been invited to give a keynote address at the centenary celebration at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, next summer.

The celebration, scheduled for June 26-28, 2014, will include presentations from 10 scholars.

The Chair of D&E’s Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy, Wagoner will speak on the Jewish and Christian philosophers who founded and led Frankfurt University from 1914 until its dissolution in 1933 under the Nazi party.

The preliminary title for his address is “Religious Socialism as Critical Theory: Social Philosophy in Frankfurt 1929-1933.” Wagoner researched the topic for his doctoral dissertation in religion at Harvard University and was the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship, an honor given to outstanding, advanced dissertation writers in humanities Ph.D. programs. He is currently compiling additional information for a book he hopes to have completed this winter.

“I have always been fascinated with the Nazi period and wondered why there weren’t more people who resisted Hitler,” Wagoner said. “The figures I have researched and written on, Paul Tillich, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, were Jewish or progressive Christians who were perceived as threats by Hitler’s ministry of education and forced out of their positions.”

Wagoner joined the Davis & Elkins College faculty in fall 2012. He earned his doctorate in religion from Harvard University, his Master of Divinity degree and Master of Sacred Theology degree from Yale University and his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and literature from Gordon College, Mass. His research interests include modern religious thought, secularism and religious identity, and world religions.

The Davis & Elkins College program of Religion and Philosophy offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and philosophy and a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious education. Students also may select a minor in religion or philosophy.

In addition, all D&E freshmen and transfer students are required to take a course in religious studies. Courses in religion are designed to introduce students to basic religious concepts, including Western tradition and the exploration of non-Western traditions, which will allow them to examine the relationship of religion to other aspects of human behavior. Courses in philosophy are designed to introduce students to basic philosophical concepts, including Western and non-Western traditions, which will enable them to grapple with contemporary value issues.