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Melville Y. Stewart is known for his work in philosophy of religion,[1] science and religion,[2] and Eastern thought, principally Confucian thought.[3] His writings in philosophy of religion operate on the assumption that the core beliefs of the Christian faith work with concepts and propositional content that are coherent, and further can be supported by substantial evidence and cogent supportive arguments.

He initiated philosophical symposia centering on the Christian option in both Russia and China,[4] thereby providing opportunities for the presentation and defense of the Christian option in the arena of the academy East and West.

In 1999, Stewart retired in order to bring teams of top scholars into the Chinese arena for meaningful dialogue on the hot-button issue, science and religion. This initiative brought about collaboratives engaging top scholars in the Chinese academy leading to two sets of books, one consisting of five volumes in Chinese, another two in English, with the main topic, Science and Religion in Dialogue. The influence of his work gained the recognition of the Society of Christian Philosophers (SCP), and Chinese scholars.[5]

To further bridge the cultural gap, Stewart has taken a keen interest in Confucian thought, engaging in Beijing Forums and Confucian institutes in China and in the U.S.

While serving as a Fulbright Scholar at Peking University, fall term, 2001, he started work on an Chinese/English equivalence dictionary of Western philosophy to serve as a handy tool for Western scholars and for Chinese scholars interested in Western philosophical categories. This work, Dictionary of Western Philosophy, English, Pinyin, Chinese, is co-authored with Yingjin Xu of Fudan University in Shanghai.[6]

A. Family

Melville Y. Stewart was born in Boston, June 19, 1935. He was next to the youngest in a family of 2 girls and 7 boys. His father, Charles Norris immigrated from Nova Scotia and was a professional chef, and his mother, Nellie Yorke was a gifted soprano and worked for John Hancock in Boston. Stewart's wife, Donna Mae studied nursing at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and upon graduation served as a nurse at various hospitals until her retirement in 2001.

B. Education

He attended Hyde Park High School, Hyde Park (Boston suburb), Massachusetts and graduated in 1954 with a special interest in math.[7] He majored in philosophy at Gordon College and received a B.A.[8] in 1958. He began his study of theology at Westminster Theological Seminary Philadelphia, PA, and in May 1961, received an M.Div., and was awarded the Green Prize in Apologetics.[9] In 1968 he earned an S.T.M. in Philosophy of Religion at Andover Newton Theological School (Newton Centre, Massachusetts), cross-registering at Harvard Divinity School and Boston University School of Theology.[10] He resumed his study of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, and received an M.A. in 1972.[11] Mid-year of his last year at the University of Connecticut he was invited to teach philosophy at Bethel College in the fall of 1972. That fall he began work on a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, (Minneapolis), and received the degree in 1983.[12] His thesis was titled, The Greater-Good Defense.[13] On his first sabbatical in 1986 he was accepted for postdoctoral studies at Oxford University, (Oxford, England). He polished sections of his dissertation and submitted the book manuscript, The Greater-Good Defence, An Essay on the Rationality of Faith, to Macmillan of London and St. Martin's of New York, and it was accepted for publication and included in the John Hick Library of Philosophy and Religion.[14]

C. Areas of interest

His main areas of interest include philosophy of religion, science and religion, and Chinese philosophy with a special focus on Confucian thought.

D. Teaching career

He taught at Bethel University (Minnesota) (1972–1999), chaired the Department (1985–1992), received the Bethel College Distinguished Scholarship Award for 1995–1996,[15] and in 1999 became Emeritus Professor of Philosophy. His plan contingent upon retirement from full time at Bethel was to teach fall terms at various universities in China and at the same time remain open to teaching opportunities at colleges and universities in the States.

His keen interest to connect with scholars and teach at universities outside the U.S. was generated by two experiences had before retirement, one of which was an appointment to teach philosophy at St. Petersburg State University, (St. Petersburg, Russia) fall and spring terms of 1992-93. That spring term he also taught at St. Petersburg Christian College. While at St. Petersburg State University, he conducted the first Russian Symposium sponsored by St. Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy working with Dr. Natalia Pecherskaya, President of the School.[16] This initial conference was followed by others (1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2008) sponsored by the Society of Christian Philosophers (SCP). The year of the second conference (1997), Professor Eleonore Stump of St. Louis University, then President of the SCP, formed the Russia Committee and appointed Stewart Chair.

While teaching at St. Petersburg State University in the spring of 1993 Stewart was invited to give a short lecture series at Peking University. During his visit he proposed an East/West philosophy conference for the fall of 1994. The first symposium was held at Peking University and included 11 Chinese and 11 Western philosophers.[17] A China Committee was formed by Stump, and China SCP symposia have been taking place in China every year since except 2003, the year of the SARS virus.

Stewart's second invitation to teach outside the U.S. came in 1996-97, when he received a Pew Charitable Trust Award to teach at Peking University, Beijing. While a Pew Scholar, he along with Zhang Zhigang conducted the Peking III Symposium from which a book followed containing the proceedings.[18]

Just before retirment and during the transition leading to appointments in China, he served as a member of the Executive Committee of the SCP (1996–98), and as a member of the American Philosophical Association Committee for International Cooperation from 1998-2001. From 1991-2001 he served on the Board of Trustees of The MacLaurin Institute, St. Paul, MN.

His first tour outside the U.S. after retirement came in the fall of 2001. He received a Fulbright Award to teach at Peking University for a second time.[19]

Other invitations followed. In 2004, he received two awards from the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, one to teach the spring term at Peking University, and the other to teach the fall term at Shandong University, Jinan.

In 2005 a Reception was held in his honor at the Central Division of the SCP in Chicago, April 28, 2005.[20] A presentation was made by Professor Linda Zagzebski, President of the SCP, and by Professor Zhao Dunhua, Dean of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department at Peking University.

The year 2005 brought about a task shift from directing SCP symposia to a new role of directing the new Science and Religion Series. Spiked by the Science and Religion focus of the SCP symposium held at Xiamen University in 2000, Stewart applied for and received a John Templeton Grant to teach and conduct a Science and Religion Series at Wuhan University, Wuhan. The success of the Series at Wuhan University led Stewart to apply for a mega-grant from the Templeton Foundation for a Series that included Fudan University in Shanghai, 2006, Shandong University in Jinan, 2007, Peking University in Beijing, 2008, and Tsinghua University in Beijing, 2009. The new proposal was quickly approved, and in short order the schedule came together with an enthusiastic affirmation from the invited host universities. While on Science and Religion appointments, Stewart received invitations from the President of Peking University to attend and present papers at three Beijing International Forums (2004, 2005, and 2007).[21]

Expanding efforts in China and Russia (before and after retirement) opened up opportunities to read papers at 28 universities outside the U.S., 14 of them in China and 7 in Russia. Collaboratives were initiated that engaged scholars from both countries. In Russia there were 2 co-editors engaged in Russian publications, and 9 in China, one of them also a co-author, Yingjin Xu of Fudan University. University lectures delivered in other countries include Vilnius University, (Vilnius, Lithuania) (1993), the Latvian Academy of Sciences, (Riga, Latvia) (1993), the European Humanities University, (Minsk, Belarus) (1993), the University of Edinburgh, (Edinburgh, Scotland) (1993), Tokyo Christian University, (Tokyo, Japan) (1997), the University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong) (1997), Oxford University (Oxford, England)(1998), and the University of London, (London, England), (1998).[22]

His most recent Science and Religion Series held at 5 of China's top universities, (Wuhan University, Fudan University, Shandong University, Peking University, and Tsinghua University), led to a multi-volume work in two languages: a 5-volume Chinese edition (see items 12-16 under Books), and an English 2-volume edition, Science and Religion in Dialogue published by Wiley-Blackwell of Oxford, (see items 17 and 18 under Books). The English edition is included in Blackwell's Reference Online Library (BRO).[23]

More recently in the States, in April 2009 he gave a public lecture at Texas A&M University (College Station) on "Confucianism and Christianity," and read a paper at the Confucius Institute Academic Symposium, "Elements of Ancient Chinese Monotheism and the Ancient Hebrew Tradition."[24]

As a follow up to the Science and Religion Series, at a final banquet at Tsinghua University, fall of 2009, Dean Wan Junren invited Stewart to attend the celebration of the Philosophy Department's Anniversary, May 15–16, 2010. Before he left for the U.S., he was invited to teach a course in philosophy of religion at Beijing Normal University, Beijing, October, 2010. Upon arrival in the States, Stewart was awarded a Nagel Institute grant to fund the translation and publication of Volumes 3, 4 and 5 of the Chinese edition of the Science and Religion Series.[25]Fall of 2011, he taught at the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary, Novosaratovka, Russia. Fall of 2012, he presented a paper, "The Ethic of Love in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity," at the second Nishan Forum in Qufu/Jining, Shandong Province, China, gave a lecture at Shandong University in Jinan, and lectured at Beijing Normal University in Beijing. 2013 he is invited to teach 3 short courses at Beijing Normal University: (1) Contemporary Epistemology, (2) Perspectives on Evil and Suffering; (3) The Ethic of Love, and he is invited to lecture at Shandong University in Jinan, and at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.

E. Books

1. The Greater-Good Defence, An Essay on the Rationality of Faith, London:Macmillan//New York: St. Martin's, 1993, author. ISBN 0-312-08095-6.

2. Проблемы Христианской Философии (Problems in Christian Philosophy), Moscow: Progress Academy Press, 1994, in Russian only, co-editor with Dan Clendenin. ISBN 5-85864-071-0.

3. Philosophy of Religion, An Anthology of Contemporary Views, editor, in the Jones and Bartlett Series in Philosophy, 780 pages, second printing, Wadsworth Press, 1996, ISBN 0-86720-512-2.

4. 《当代西方宗教哲学》("Philosophy of Religion, An Anthology of Contemporary Views"), Peking University Press, the Waiming Translation Library, ISBN 7-301-04731-2.

5. 《东西方宗教伦理及其他》(East & West Religious Ethics and Other Essays), Peking Symposium III, Beijing: Central Compilation and Translation Press, 1997, in Chinese only, co-editor with Zhang Zhigang (Peking University), ISBN 7-80109-198-1/B 10.

6. The Symposium of Chinese-American Philosophy and Religious Studies: Volume 1, East & West Philosophy of Religion, Peking Symposium I, co-editor with Zhang Zhigang, Bethesda: International Scholars Publications, 1998. ISBN 1-57309-260.

7. 《欧美哲学与宗教讲演录》(Lectures on European and American Philosophy and Religion), Peking IV Symposium. Beijing: Peking University Press, 1998, in Chinese only, co-editor with Zhao Dunhua (Dean of the Department of Philosophy and Department of Religious Studies, Peking University). ISBN 7-301-03657-4.

8. Искупление (The Atonement), co-editor with Natalia Pecherskaya, President, St. Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy, in Russian only, St. Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy Publishers, 1999. ISBN 5-900291-14-6.

9. 《科学与宗教的对话》(A Dialogue Between Science and Religion), Xiamen: Xiamen University Press, 2000, in Chinese only, co-editor with Zhou Jianzhang (Xiamen University) and Kelly James Clark (Calvin College). ISBN 7-5615-1989-3/B-76.

10. The Trinity: East/West Dialogue, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2003, editor. ISBN 1-4020-1728-6.

11. Пресвятая Троица ("The Trinity: East/West Dialogue", Russian edition, Alexander Kierlezhev co-editor, Melville Y. Stewart, co-editor. No ISBN #.

12. 《跨宗教对话:中国与西方》(Interfaith Dialogue: East and West), Beijing: Social Science Publishers, 2004, in Chinese only, co-editor with Fu Youde (Dean of the Department of Philosophy, Shandong University) and Kelly James Clark. ISBN 7-5004-4201-7/B.

13. Philosophy of Religion, Beijing: Peking University Press, 2005, co-editor with Xing Taotao (Peking University). ISBN 7-301-09572-4/B-0333.

14. 《科学与宗教的对话》(Science and Religion in Dialogue), Beijing: Peking University Press, 2007, Chinese, co-editor with Hao Changchi (Wuhan University). ISBN 978-7-301-12811-4.

15. 《科学与宗教:二十一 世纪时对话》(Science and Religion: 21st Century Dialogue), Chinese, co-editor with Xu Yingjin (Fudan University), 2008, Shanghai: Fudan University Press. ISBN 978-7-309-06310-3

16. Science and Religion in Dialogue, editor, Volume One, 2009, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 9781405189217

17. Science and Religion in Dialogue, editor, Volume Two, 2009, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 9781405189217. The English edition of both volumes is included in Blackwell's Reference Online Library (BRO).

18. Dictionary of Western Philosophy, English/Pinyin/Chinese, Xu Yingjin (Fudan University) and Melville Y. Stewart, authors, 2009, Beijing: Peking University Press. ISBN 978-7-301-16393-1

19. 《科学与宗教:当前对话》(Science and Religion: Current Dialogue), Chinese, co-editor with Fu Youde (Chair of the Comparative Philosophy and Hebrew Studies Departments, Shandong University), 2010, Beijing: Peking University Press. ISBN 978-7-16236-1/B-0848.

20. 《科学与宗教:当前争论》("Science and Religion: Current Debate"), Vol. 5, Zhu Donghua and Melville Y. Stewart, editors, Beijing: Peking University Press, 2014, 978-7-301-24667-2.

21. "Наука и Религия в Диалоге" ("Science and Religion in Dialogue"), Natalia Pecherskaya and Melville Y. Stewart, editors, Volume 1, hardbound and paperback editions. 2014, 978-5-900291-32-1.

22. "Itinerate Philosopher", Melville Y. Stewart, author, Bethel University Publisher, 2013.

Forthcoming

23. 《科学与宗教:二十一 世纪问题》(Science and Religion: 21st Century Issues), Chinese, co-editor with Xing Taotao and Xiangdong Xu (Peking University), 2013, Beijing: Peking University Press, March, 2015.

24-26, Volumes 2, 3, 4, "Наука и Религия в Диалоге" ("Science and Religion in Dialogue"), Natalia Pecherskaya and Melville Y. Stewart, editors, translation of Volume 2 in process.

F. Notes

  1. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia,"Philosophy of Religion", major philosophers of religion, Answers/comm/topic/philosophy-of-religion; New World Encyclopedia, "Philosophy of Religion", some major philosophers of religion, newworldencyclopedia.org.
  2. Wiley-Blackwell, Melville Y. Stewart
  3. Confucian Institute Academic Symposium, Texas A & M University
  4. The Society of Christian Philosophers (Newsletters).
  5. A reception was held in Chicago, Proceedings and Addresses of The American Philosophical Association, February, 2005, Issue 4, p. 45. The Dean of the Department of Philosophy at Peking University also took part in the Recognition. Also see the interview book review of Professur Changchi Hao of the first volume in the Chinese edition of the Series, in the Science Times, circulation, 100,000 in all 23 of China's provinces.
  6. Peking University Press, 2009.
  7. The 1954 Blue Book, John J. Buckley, Director, 1954.
  8. Hypernikon, 1958, Gordon College, Winnie Durfee, editor.
  9. Westminster Theological Seminary, Spring, 1961.
  10. Who's Who in the Midwest, 1992-1993, 23rd edition, R.R. Bowker, Wilmette, IL 60091.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Bethel University 2007-2008 Catalog.
  13. University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, MI, 1416.
  14. Books, entry #1.
  15. Distinguished Faculty Award Convocation, February 28, 1997, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN.
  16. Проблемы Христианской Философии (Problems in Christian Philosophy), Books, entry #2.
  17. Books, entry #5.
  18. Books, entry #4.
  19. Department of Philosophy, Department of Religious Studies, Peking University, Fulbright recognition event, p. 77.
  20. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, February 2005, Issue 4, p. 45.
  21. Beijing Forum, 2004, Philosophical Dialogue and Cultural Exchange, August 23–24; Beijing Forum, 2005, "Complementarity in Science and Religion", in Dialogue of Philosophies, Religions and Civilizations in the Era of Globalization, Chinese Philosophical Studies, XXV, Zhao Dunhua, editor; Beijing Forum, 2007, p. 30.
  22. "Stewart to present paper at prestigious universities", Clarion, May 13, 1998, p. 3.
  23. Wiley-Blackwell Reference Online Library.
  24. Texas A & M University, "The Confucian Institute Academic Symposium," April 9, 2009.
  25. Books, entries #14, #15, and #16.
Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, "Philosophy of Religion", major philosophers of religion, Answers.com/topic/philosphy-of-religion; New World Encyclopedia, "Philosophy of Religion", some major philosophers of religion, newworldencyclopedia.org.
Wiley-Blackwell, Melville Y. Stewart.
Confucius Institute Academic Symposium, Texas A & M University.
A reception was held in Chicago, Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, February, 2005, Issue 4, p. 45. Also see the interview book review of Professor Changchi Hao of the first volume in the Chinese edition of the Series in the Science Times, circulation, 100,000 in all 23 of China's provinces. 
Peking University Press, 2009.
The 1954 Blue Book, John J. Buckley, Director, 1954.
Hypernikon, 1958, Gordon College, Winnie Durfee, editor.
Westminster Theological Seminary, Spring, 1961.
Who's Who in the Midwest, 1992-1993, 23rd edition, R.R. Bowker, Wilmette, IL 60091.
Ibid.
Bethel University 2007-2008 Catalog.
University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, MI, 1416.
Books, entry #1.
Distinguished Faculty Award Convocation (program), February 28, 1997, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN.
Проблемы Христианской Философии (Problems in Christian Philosophy), Books, entry #2, p. 3.
Books, entry #5.
Books, entry #4.
Department of Philosophy, Department of Religious Studies, Peking University, Fulbright recognition event, p. 77.
Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, February 2005, Issue 4, p. 45.
Beijing Forum, 2004, Philosophical Dialogue and Cultural Exchangea, August 23–24; Beijing Forum, 2005; "Complementarity in Science and Religion", in Dialogue of Philosophies, Religions and Civilizations in the Era of Globalization, Chinese Philosophical Studies, XXV, Zhao Dunhua, editor; Beijing Forum, 2007, p. 30.
"Stewart to present paper at prestigious universities", Clarion, May 13, 1998, p. 3.
Wiley-Blackwell Reference Online Library.
Texas A & M University, The Confucian Institute Academic Symposium, April 9, 2009.
Books, entries #14, #15, and #16.


fi:Melville Y. Stewart

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