ISR News & Events

Living Accountably: Baylor Symposium on Faith & Culture

October 27, 2021 – October 29, 2021 all-day

Quick Facts

Conference Description and Call for Proposals

The notion of accountability is pervasive in contemporary life.  In the political sphere, for instance, we often speak of failures of accountability or demand that elected officials be held accountable.  Yet little attention has been paid to how accountability might be a positive force in all aspects of life.

People are frequently accountable to those who have the authority to ask for an account—students to teachers, children to parents, employees to employers.  It seems plausible, however, that accountability exists even outside of hierarchical relationships.  Friends, for example, often hold one other accountable.  Some philosophers and theologians also have claimed that all humans are accountable to each other as members of a moral community.

What might it mean to embrace being accountable?  Could it be that an important trait of virtuous persons is that they “live accountably?”

And to whom are humans accountable?  The Christian tradition holds that human persons are accountable to God, living their whole lives before God as a gift.  Indeed the “fear of the Lord” is a central Biblical virtue, the beginning of wisdom.  What might accountability to God mean not simply as an ideal but as a lived reality?

The 2021 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, “Living Accountably,” will explore what it might mean to live accountably, in relation both to God and to other persons.  Is accountability a virtue?  If so, how is it related to other virtues?  How might this virtue make a difference in our understanding of family, friendship, and community?  How might accountability be realized in diverse spheres like business, medicine, education, politics, and the church?

Proposals for individual papers and panel discussions are welcome. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted by July 15.  Call 254-710-4805 or email for more information.

Confirmed speakers to date include:

  • Andrew Bennett
  • La Wonda Bornstein
  • Douglas Campbell
  • Joel Carpenter
  • C. Stephen Evans
  • Anne Snyder
  • Eleonore Stump
  • Tyler VanderWeele
  • Miroslav Volf
  • Paul Wadell

The Institute for Faith and Learning is delighted to be joined by
Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion
and the Baylor Center for Christian Philosophy as co-sponsors of this symposium.

The Accountability as a Virtue Project is generously supported by the
Templeton Religion Trust.

To see videos of plenary lectures and panel sessions from previous conferences, please visit The IFL Vimeo Page.