Wesleyan Philosophical Society
The Wesleyan Philosophical Society (WPS) is an academic society largely represented by academic institutions affiliated with Christian denominations in the Wesleyan tradition. Despite its primarily Wesleyan orientation, there has been increasing participation from scholars in Catholic, Orthodox, and other Protestant (such as Lutheran and Pentecostal) traditions. Likewise, there are no formal doctrinal or affiliational requirements for membership in the society or participation (including as a presenter) at its conferences. Anyone with an interest in philosophical subjects pertaining to conference themes (broadly construed) is welcome to attend, regardless of his or her personal theological orientation or affiliation.
The society was conceived during a 2001 meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society meeting at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. Brint Montgomery, Thomas Jay Oord, and Robert Thompson served as the early organizing forces. The society first met in Hobe Sound, Florida in March 2002. The society has grown steadily since then, featuring up to approximately 30 papers (as space and time allow) per conference in recent years.
The WPS has published sample papers of its activities on its official website. These published papers have been selected from conference presentations. Such conference presentations are the result of a peer-review process of selection from a Call for Papers. The site is maintained by Brint Montgomery, professor of Philosophy at Southern Nazarene University.
The society's published books:
- The Many Facets of Love: Philosophical Explorations. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Thomas Jay Oord, editor. 2006 select Proceedings.
- Holiness Unto Truth. Intersections between Wesleyan and Roman Catholic Voices. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, L. Bryan Williams, editor. 2007 select Proceedings.
- I More than Others: Responses to Evil and Suffering, Eric Severson, editor. 2009 select Proceedings and invited essay from John Caputo (professor emeritus, Syracuse University and Villanova University)
- Gift and Economy: Ethics, Markets, and Morality. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Eric Severson, editor. 2011 selected proceedings and invited essay from Richard Kearney, Boston College (co-authored by Eric Severson)
WPS meets each year at various sites around the United States in conjunction with its sister society, the Society for the Study of Psychology and Wesleyan Theology (SSPWT). Conference registration also enables participants to attend sessions of SSPWT for no additional charge. While independent, the WPS has also maintained a relationship with the older Wesleyan Theological Society, meeting each year a day prior to the WTS at the same location.
- 2014: This is My Body: Philosophical Explorations of Embodiment, March 6, 2014 Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho
- 2013: Are There Good Reasons to Believe? Epistemology and Christian Faith, March, 21, 2013 Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington
- 2012: Curb Your Enthusiasm? Philosophy and Religious Experience, March 1, 2012 Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, Tennessee
- 2011: Philosophy and Popular Culture: Medium, Message, and 'the Masses'., March 3, 2011, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
- 2010: Gift and Economy: Ethics, Hospitality and the Market., March 4, 2010, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California
- 2009: 'I More Than the Others:’ A Response to Evil and Suffering, 2009, Anderson University (Indiana), Anderson, Indiana
- 2008: Philosophy and Science: Contemporary Explorations, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
- 2007: Themes of Wesleyan and Catholic Thought, Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois
- 2006: Love: Investigating its Meaning, History and Expressions,³ Nazarene Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri
- 2005: Political and Social Philosophy, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington
- 2004: Virtue, Reason & Morality: Considering Ethics, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, New York
- 2003: Religious Experience, Asbury Theological Seminary, Lexington, Kentucky
- 2002: Hobe Sound, Florida
WPS leadership is elected from members of the society at its annual business meeting during its conference. Its executive leadership consists of a President, 1st Vice-President, and 2nd Vice-President. The organisation also maintains a review coordinator for submissions, and a promotional secretary.
- President: Christian Smerick, Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois
- 1st Vice-President: Wm. Curtis Holtzen, Hope International University, Fullerton, California
- 2nd Vice-President: James Stump, Bethel College, Mishawaka, Indiana
- 2014-2015: Joseph Bankard, Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho
- 2013-2014: Teri Merrick, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California
- 2011-2013: Timothy Crutcher, Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Oklahoma
- 2010–2011: Eric Severson, Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, Massachusetts
- 2009–2010: Heather Ross, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California
- 2008–2009: Robert Thompson, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California
- 2007–2008: L. Bryan Williams, Warner Pacific College, Portland, Oregon
- 2006–2007: Craig Boyd, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California
- 2005–2006: Eric Manchester, Caldwell College, Caldwell, New Jersey
- 2004–2005: Barry Bryant, Memphis Theological Seminary, Memphis, Tennessee
- 2003–2004: Brint Montgomery, Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Oklahoma
- 2002–2003: Thomas Jay Oord, Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho