Dr. Ken Bryson is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religious Studies, School of Arts and Social Sciences. He is passionate about building the CBU centre for philosophy and religion. The centre is co-sponsored by the value inquiry books series and Brill publishers. He is founding editor of the Philosophy and Religion sub-series, VIBS, and has donated a large collection of approximately 200 volumes to the CBU library in 2016. Dr. Bryson continues to teach part-time at CBU and to publish in the area of philosophy.
He is on the editorial board of the Gilson special series, VIBS, and on the editorial boards of Humanomics, and the American Journal of Biblical Theology. Dr. Bryson is a Fellow of the Adler-Aquinas Institute. He has been a visiting scholar at several universities including l’Universite de Moncton, Mount Saint Vincent University, the CEGEP regional de la cote Nord, Lampeter University Wales, Wuhan University, China, Huanzeg University of Science and technology, China. He taught metaphysics and epistemology at the University of Ottawa in the sixties and has been with CBU since 1970.
He received a B.A. with major in psychology from Saint Pat’s College, a B.Ph from Saint Paul University, a M.A. from the University of Ottawa, a L.Ph degree from St. Paul University, and a Ph.D. with major in philosophy from the university of Ottawa.
Librarian: Can you talk about the origin of the CBU Centre for Philosophy and Religion?
I met Robert Ginsberg, founding executive editor of the Value Inquiry Books Series (VIBS), at a ‘rethinking technology’ institute held at Pennsylvania University in the summer of 1994. Science, Technology, and Society (STS) was never far from my mind in those days as Keith MacLeod and I team taught a course on STS at CBU; Keith taught from the perspective of an engineer while I looked at developments in science and technology from the point of view of ethics. We argued a lot and students loved it. STS courses at PennState are taught by an engineer and a philosopher so we were on the right track, argument and all. I kept in touch with the people at PennState. Robert Ginsberg wanted to add a division on philosophy and religion to his special series family and in 2000 invited me to let my name stand as editor of this proposed series. In those days the appointment of a special series editor was determined by ballot as the 30 or so existing series editors cast their aye or nay vote on the motion. The Centre for Philosophy and Religion (PAR) was created at CBU to co-sponsor my editorship and the VIBS-Rodopi scholarly activity. This is a win/win for CBU because our peer reviewed scholarly volumes are published worldwide, and at no cost to the institution. My first task as editor was to appoint an editorial board from among scholars around the world. The second was to determine guidelines and process. We decided to place the following descriptive on the back cover of all our VIBS volumes;
Philosophy and Religion (PAR) is dedicated to a critical study of religious attitudes, values, and beliefs. PAR welcomes a wide variety of philosophical approaches to general and specific topics arising from the whole spectrum of religious traditions.
The process begins with the editor’s desk and the review of manuscript submissions to determine the fit with PAR’s objective. Promising submissions are sent to the PAR board for review. Manuscripts that show promise internally are sent to the publisher with a positive recommendation to hire an external reviewer. Second, the proactive dimension of PAR enables an editor to identify a special project theme and recruit contributors to a focused area of interest. The proposed volume on spirituality is a case in point. Each published volume in the PAR special series, VIBS, draws attention to CBU and to the Centre that co-sponsors this academic activity. As my academic life slowly fades into the sinking sun (retirement) I am pleased that Rod Nicholls has agreed to take on responsibility for the editorship of PAR and Director of the co-sponsoring Centre at CBU. Rod has keen insight and proven organizational skills. The future of the Centre and of PAR is in good hands. For a list of publications in the PAR special series visit http://brill.com/PAR
The interview was conducted on June 16, 2016