Erasmus Lectures to Examine Mystery, Faith

Dr. Lara Buchak

Dr. Lara Buchak

Lara Buchak, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, will speak about faith in a lecture at Westmont. Buchak explores “What is Faith?” Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 3:30-5 p.m. in Hieronymus. The Erasmus Society Lecture Series is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Annie Borden at (805) 565-6239.

Buchak, who earned a doctorate from Princeton University, has focused her research on decision, game and rational choice theory, as well as the philosophy of religion and epistemology. She published a book, “Risk and Rationality,” which probes the principles that govern rational decision-making in the face of risk.

For her talk at Westmont, she discusses the term ‘faith’ that can be used in both religious and ordinary contexts. “For example, one can have faith that God exists, faith that one’s friend is loyal or faith in one’s spouse,” she says. “But what does it mean to have faith? This talk will first explain how to figure out what faith is — how to look for a precise definition of faith. It will then offer a proposal, which sheds light on when and why faith can be rational.”


  1. Shelby Robison says:

    I am interested in Dr.s Hollywood and Buchak’s lectures, as well as investigating a summer program or workshop in women-focussed Christian spirituality (I am a dual citizen, Australian-American and will be on the West Coast visiting my 90 year old mother in summer 2014).

    Is there anything planned in regard to study or workshops and will it be possible to get access to the lectures or notes from same (or list of references or publications related) by Dr. Hollywood and Dr. Buchak? Thanks for taking time with this request. Sincerely, Shelby Robison, Lay Preacher, Uniting Church in Cannington, Western Australia, and Marriage & Family Therapist.