Psychological and Philosophical
Perspectives on Faith and Belief

Seattle Pacific University is pleased to offer this interdisciplinary one-day workshop, bringing together philosophers, psychologists, and theologians to examine knowledge, belief, and religious faith.

May 25, 2023
Upper Gwinn Commons
Seattle Pacific University campus

These lectures are free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible.

Jason Stigall

9–10:15 a.m.

“‘And their eyes were opened ...’: Tracing the Journey to Faith and Knowledge of God on the Emmaus Road”
Jason Stigall, University of St. Andrews

Stigall’s research focuses on the nature of faith and faith’s relationship to second-personal knowledge. His doctoral thesis explores faith’s relationship to and the role faith has in coming to a “second-personal” knowledge of God.


10:30–11:45 a.m. (Via Zoom)

“The Liberative Norm in Christian Theological Knowledge-Seeking”
Sameer Yadav, Westmont College

Yadav specializes in areas of systematic/philosophical theology, theology and race, and mysticism and religious experience. He is the author of The Problem of Perception and the Experience of God (Fortress Press, 2015), and has published in various journals including The Journal of Analytic Theology, Journal of Religion, and Faith and Philosophy.



12–1 p.m.
Lunch break

Liz Hall

1–2:15 p.m.

“Intimacy With God: Psychological Perspectives”
M. Elizabeth Lewis Hall, Biola University

Hall’s research interests include women and work, mothering, sexism, embodiment, and meaning-making in suffering, and she’s published numerous articles and book chapters on these topics. At Biola University, she teaches integration courses in the undergraduate program, and co-leads a graduate research team on women’s issues.

Nicole Garvia

2:30–3:45 p.m.

“Divine Hiddenness and the Limitations of Doxastic Positioning”
Nicole Garcia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Garcia’s research focuses on the nature of evidence and epistemic normativity as it pertains to doxastic positioning (i.e., the process of positioning others to form and maintain beliefs). Her research also targets the value of cognitive autonomy — its nature and normative profile, as well as how it helps illuminate the distinction between problematic and unproblematic modes of cognitive influence.



3:45–4:30 p.m.

Telli Davoodi

4:30–5:45 p.m.

Faith, Diversity, and Science Lecture

“Acquisition and Function of Beliefs and the Role of Culture”
Telli Davoodi, Gallup, Boston University

Davoodi is a cognitive developmental psychologist by academic training and a senior social science researcher by profession. Her research focuses on the role of the socio-cultural environment in learning, forming beliefs, and reasoning about abstract social constructs, such as gender, nationality, religion, or the idea of ownership.

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6–6:30 p.m.

Open Q&A with workshop speakers

To close this event, speakers will respond to questions about their presentations and their research interests.