NNU GTOE Professor to be Published by Oxford University Press

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Dr. Kevin Timpe

Dr. Kevin Timpe

Professors in the Graduate Theological Online Education (GTOE) program at Northwest Nazarene University’s School of Theology & Christian Ministries aren’t only phenomenal teachers and mentors. They’re active scholars, too.

Last month I wrote a blog about books by NNU faculty. One of those books was Virtues and Their Vices, a collection of essays in virtue theory edited by NNU Professor Kevin Timpe and our former NNU colleague, Dr. Craig Boyd.

Oxford University Press (OUP) will publish the book, which is scheduled for release in the UK this month and in the U.S. at the end of April. An overview of the project can be found here.

“I’m really proud of it,” says Dr. Timpe, who is in his fifth year of teaching at NNU. “OUP is the best philosophy press in the world. It’s been a professional dream to publish with them.”

The book was very challenging to complete. “It took a long time,” he says, adding more than 25 people contributed to it. “It will have taken five years from conception to birth. Granted it’s a large book at over 500 pages, but it took a lot longer than any other book I’ve worked on.”

The project grew out of a Virtue and Vices course at the University of San Diego, where he taught for five years prior to NNU. Dr. Timpe had a difficult time finding a book to use for the course text so he decided to put one together.

“There’s a lot of philosophical work on virtue theory, which is an ethical system that focuses on an agent’s moral character rather than primarily on their actions or the consequences of their actions,” he explains. “While this tradition goes back to at least Plato and Aristotle, and had a huge influence on Christian theology in the medieval period, it’s undergone a resurgence in the past 100 years. But while there’s all this interesting new work on virtue theory, there’s been less work done on exactly how we should understand individual virtues. And that’s what our book focuses on.”

The book is divided into five major sections. The first four focus on different kinds of virtues: the cardinal virtues, epistemic virtues, theological virtues, the virtues opposed to the capital vices, also known as the “seven deadly sins.” The last section has chapters on how virtues relate to other disciplines, like politics and psychology and even neurobiology.

What is his hope for the book? “I’d love to see the work contained in our volume help people understand and be motivated to be more excellent, both individually and communally,” he says. “I also hope readers can see how a wide range of disciplines can contribute to the discussion about what this kind of excellence looks like.”

Last November, Dr. Timpe had another book published. Free Will in Philosophical Theology takes the most recent philosophical work on free will and uses it to explore a variety of theological doctrines involving free will. Tune in to next week’s “Lead with Love” blog when Dr. Timpe talks about this important book.

If you’re interested in learning from scholars like Dr. Timpe, I invite you to request more information about NNU’s fully online Master of Arts and Master of Divinity programs.

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