Joshua Ashcroft - Thesis Abstract: Submission or Rebellion: An In-depth Study of the Ethics of the American Revolution. In April 1775, American Colonials began an armed rebellion against the British Empire, officially declaring their independence the following summer. But what were the causes which impelled them to this historic separation? Was the American Revolution a heroic surge of patriotism based on the unassailable principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or was it an unjust rebellion against a legitimate and God-ordained sovereign? This thesis analyzes the American Revolution by providing a philosophical critique to its political and theological principles. Defending May 2, 6:30 pm.
Izat Callaway – Thesis Abstract: Hath God Said? A Vision of the Good Life For over a century there has been considerable public debate over the merits and demerits of the Industrial Revolution. Many see it as one of the greatest achievements of modern society and economy, while others view it as a kind of progressive apocalypse, signifying the defeat of principles from a simpler and more agrarian world. Which world—the industrial or the agrarian— is truly the more Godly? Moreover, is this even the right question to ask? Perhaps there is a theological moderator? This paper examines both perspectives, using theological truth to conciliate unnecessary rivals, in order that we may seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness. Defending May 2, 5:00 pm.
Bethany Hartman - Thesis Abstract: The Gift of Tongues: Is It Present in the Modern Church? In the second chapter of Acts, it was the powerful and authenticating sign of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. But does the gift of tongues continue in the modern church? For centuries theologians and lay people have debated this question. Some contend that the gift ceased when the canon of Scripture was completed, while others insist that the Spirit still pours out his power in this way, even now. By addressing the counter-arguments and by reviewing historical examples from the post-Apostolic age, this thesis argues that the spiritual gift of tongues continues in the modern church. Defending April 25, 4:00 pm.
David Kummetz – Thesis Abstract: The Hidden Menace: Dangers of Computer Use in Modern Education. Since the dawn of the information age, schools across the nation have spent billions of dollars to increase student access to computer technology. But are they promoting an expedient means of launching our youth into the next age of intellectual advancement, or are they giving passage to a “mental Trojan horse” that compromises the very process of learning? This paper examines the several educational risks that naturally attend computer and internet reliance. Defending April 30, 4:00 pm.
Jay Lamagna, IV - Thesis Abstract: Songs of Heaven: An Exploration of Theological Truths Inherent in Music. Music surrounds us. It seems omnipresent in today’s society. But is music just something for relaxation or leisure, or is it something deeper, something more permanent? This thesis will show that music actually embodies theological truths and will explore the concepts of time, resolution, tension, freedom and constraint as they exist both in music and in our lives. This project presents the fascinating nexus between Biblical texts and musical scores. Defending April 30, 5:30 pm.
John McDouall – Thesis Abstract: Richard Dawkins claims that Christianity is necessarily opposed to science, and therefore opposed to logic and reality itself. Yet the truth of the matter is that Christianity draws upon science, the science of theology. In fact, theological science bears a striking resemblance to the natural science that Mr. Dawkins so loudly acclaims. Theology and natural science share common methods, processes, and limitations. Specifically, the development of the principles of theology has many points in common with the development of the latest revolution in physical science: quantum physics. The same valid laws are present in both. Even on purely materialistic and phenomenological grounds, Christianity is not the baseless conception that Dawkins imagines. Defending April 25, 5:30 pm.
Sequoi Phipps – Thesis Abstract: The Romanticized Vision of Autism: How Media Presents the Autistic Community. Autism is a term growing in popularity. Very frequently, people have some legitimate conceptions about the nature of autism. Perhaps their sibling, cousin or neighbor suffers with this disorder. But expectations based on stereotypes are too often present. What is the source of these stereotypes? Media is the principle source. Movies and television fill the public mind with the vision of an autistic child who is only slightly hindered yet blessed with super-genius powers! This thesis will examine the media-romanticized version of autism, dismantle it with actual facts and cases, and present insights from real parents and children who deal with this condition. Defending April 23, 5:30 pm.
Ryan Pickard – Thesis Abstract: The “Double-Headed Hydra of Lawlessness”: An Examination of the Eighteenth Amendment and the Reasons for its Failure. The 1920’s and the Prohibition Era is one of the most iconic ages of this nation’s history: speak-easies, bootleggers, Al Capone and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The Eighteenth Amendment was finally repealed in 1933. But should it have ever been passed? This paper shows why the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States failed. Through an exploration of the various abuses during the period and a consideration of Thomistic principles of law, this thesis will demonstrate that Prohibition expanded the power of government beyond the proper jurisdiction of human law. Defending April 24, 4:00 pm.
Shanelle Rucker - Thesis Abstract: On the Wibbley Wobley Timey Wimey Stuff: A Christian Refutation to the Physicist’s Dream of Time Travel. When people think of time travel, they often think of all those sci-fi stories that envision our travel to the future or becoming characters in one of our favorite adventures of by-gone days. Most already recognize these to be mere fantasies. But what if, beyond the technological limitations to these pleasant fictions, there are serious theological obstacles to the possibility of time travel? This paper refutes some of the modern and popularized conceptions of time travel by exploring the contributions that Aristotle and Augustine made to the conversation. Defending April 23, 4:00 pm.
Taylor Thornburg – Thesis Abstract: Norse Mythology: Reflections on the Pagan Anticipation of Christ. “What has Horace to do with the Psalter? Or Virgil with the Gospel? Or Cicero with the Apostle?” St. Jerome asked. For centuries scholars have wondered the same: whether or not Christians should read pagan mythology. However, pagan mythology is not simply the useless remnant of ancient and godless peoples; it can be a literary compass, pointing man to the one true God. Christianity is the one true story upon which all myths are based. In particular, this paper examines the myths of Norse paganism, demonstrating that Biblical truth, Christ-like heroes, and sanctifying symbols are all present in the pagan atmosphere of Odin, Thor and Valhalla. Defending May 2, 3:30 pm.
Townsend Williams – Thesis Abstract: A Critique of American Education. American education is in danger. Once steeped in traditional methods and religiously informed goals, public educational institutions have rejected the principles that form the Western conceptions of education. Now, despite universalized educational opportunities, the American student and American culture are suffering. What went wrong? This thesis critiques the American mistake: the gradual jettisoning of tradition in favor of utilitarian innovation. Defending April 24, 5:30 pm.