Courage in Crisis
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)
Scriptural references to courage are abundant, but how do we live it out in the context of crises like the last year has brought us – global pandemic, national turmoil, isolation, and uncertainty? What does it mean to have courage? Is it true that “Fear is a reaction, courage is a decision” as Winston Churchill tells us? Or as Maya Angelou states, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
This year’s Symposium topic, Courage in Crisis, brings into focus the countless instances of courageous action and valiant character that we have seen in the face of serious crisis. Bravery on the battlefield or the front lines is certainly an example that gets attention, but is this the only way to display courage?
A few questions to explore:
The Gordon College Symposium sparks discussion on a major contemporary or perennial issue. Students, faculty and staff learn from one another through events that address the topic, such as panel discussions, exhibits, debates, poetry readings, presentations, performances and outdoor festivities that take place on Symposium day. This year, Symposium Day will consist of primarily virtual content with a few in-person events on campus.
Malcolm Reid Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Humanities
Dr. Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung
Professor of Philosophy, Calvin University
Thursday, April 15, 2021
4:30pm Lecture via Zoom Webinar
Rebecca DeYoung (Ph.D. University of Notre Dame) has enjoyed teaching ethics and the history of ancient and medieval philosophy at Calvin College for over 20 years. Her research focuses on the seven deadly sins, and virtue ethics, as well as Thomas Aquinas’s work on the virtues. Her books include Glittering Vices (Brazos, 2nd edition 2020), Vainglory (Eerdmans), and a co-authored volume entitled Aquinas’s Ethics (University of Notre Dame Press). Recent essays about various vices and virtues—hope, despair, sloth, courage, magnanimity, wrath, and vainglory—appear in Virtues and Their Vices (Oxford), Being Good (Eerdmans), and Cambridge Critical Guide to Aquinas’s De Malo (Cambridge), and the journals Res Philosophica, ACPQ, the Thomist, and Faith and Philosophy. Awards for her work include the Book and Essay Prize from the Character Project and the C.S. Lewis prize for Glittering Vices. She speaks widely, including opportunities to teach in prison. She and her husband Scot live in Grand Rapids, near the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline. They have four children ages 15–22.