Geneva College



2013-14 Bitar Memorial Lecture

April 8-9, 2014

Getting from There to Here: From Modernity to Postmodernity

Dr. Merold Westphal
Dr. Keith Martel

This year’s Bitar Memorial Lecturer is Dr. Merold Westphal. Merold Westphal (Ph.D., Yale University (Woodrow Wilson Fellow); B.A., Wheaton College) is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Fordham University. He has taught at Yale, Hope College and Fordham University, with visiting positions at Juniata, Loyola (Maryland), Villanova, Fuller Seminary, and Harvard Divinity School. He has served as President of the Hegel Society of America and the Soren Kierkegaard Society, and as Executive Co-Director of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP). He has lectured widely in the United States and Europe as well as in China and Brazil. He is editor of the Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion. His books include two on Hegel, four on Kierkegaard, God, Guilt and Death, Transcendence and Self-Transcendence, Overcoming Onto-Theology, and Whose Community? Which Interpretation?, an interpretation of philosophical thinking related to biblical interpretation.

Dr. Keith Martel will serve as Respondent to Dr. Westphal's lectures. Keith Martel (M.A, Ph.D. Duquesne University; B.A., MHE, Geneva College), is Associate Professor of Humanities and Higher Education at Geneva College. In his undergraduate major in philosophy here at Geneva, he studied with the late Dr Byron Bitar. His Masters Thesis engaged the work of Dr. Westphal. As an environmental phenomenologist and professor of higher education, Keith helps students and practitioners develop a more robust sense of a place-based education including the effects of disruptive technology on the classroom. 


The Bitar Memorial Lecture Series is endowed by the William C. Kriner Family in memory of Geneva College’s beloved professor of a quarter-century, in order to continue his legacy and vision for philosophy. The Lecture was inaugurated in 2004, a year after Dr. Bitar’s untimely death. The annual Bitar Cash Prize is a gift from Mrs. Gail Bitar. The Kriner and Bitar families host the event, along with Geneva College’s Philosophy Program.

Past Bitar Lecturers include

  • 2004-05: Dr. Stephen Evans, Baylor University – “Can Love be Commanded?: Kierkegaard on the Foundations of Moral Obligation”        
  • 2005-06: Dr. Paul Helm – “John Calvin’s Big Idea”
  • 2006-07: Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff – "Love and Justice"
  • 2007-08: Linda Zagzebski – "Self-Trust and Religious Belief"
  • 2008-09: Dr. James K.A. Smith – "A Liturgical Phenomenology for a Post-Secular Age"
  • 2009-10: R.J. Snell – "Culture of Boredom, Culture of Death"
  • 2010-11: Dr. Paul K. Moser – “Expecting a Severe God.”
  • 2011-12: Dr. Alvin Plantinga  –  “Science, Religion and Naturalism”
  • 2012-13: Dr. Nancey Murphy – "Human Nature at the Intersection of Science, Religion and Philosophy"

Find the schedule of public activities and their locations here. For additional information, contact the Philosophy Program, 724-847-6700, or email,


Point of Excellence

Music business students have the opportunity to participate in the Contemporary Music Center Program in Nashville, Tennessee.

more points >>
Upcoming Events
Fall Semester Begins
The Fall semester of the 2014-2015 school year begins.
 8:00 a.m.

MSOL at PNC Park
 7:05 p.m.

Geneva College named a College of Distinction
National college guide honors distinctive educational excellence
Geneva College announces 5% budget cuts
Commitment to stewardship helps keep a Geneva College education affordable.
July issue of @Geneva
Read about Proactive Stewardship.
Beaver Falls Community Crime Watch Day
On Sat., Aug 2, this popular annual event kicks off in a new way.
June issue of @Geneva
Read about chemistry program grants.