Assistant Professor, Philosophy Program
Chairperson, Philosophy Program
Chairperson, Theology Department
Phone: 814-871-7527
Office: PC 3204
kerr010@gannon.edu

  • Biography
  • Educational History
  • Scholarship/Research

Biography

A philosophical question we ought to ask is: what do we love?  I love teaching philosophy.  In my teaching I am hoping students will catch the bug of thinking creatively and logically while coming to deeper awareness of themselves and the world in which they live.  I am interested in how students come to belief, what kind of reasoning is going on when students claim to be certain about existence?   I want to know what students think (about politics, religion, justice, truth) but I am also intrigued with the avenues for reflection that lead to their assertions.  And I am just as eager to explore the avenues trod by intensely aware thinkers of the past, thus pointing to a few trails students might not have considered before.  Philosophy, thankfully, is a social discipline.

In my research I focus on questions in interpretation theory and the Philosophy of Communication.  I have written in the history of Christianity and am working on papers which wrestle with the proper balance between the mutually enhancing categories of faith and reason.  This spring I am taking students to Detroit to learn about urban agriculture and serve at a Capuchin (Franciscan) soup kitchen.  This trip was set up by Gannon’s Center for Social Concerns. We will want to discover how this community makes fresh vegetables and fruits available at a very affordable price. 
In addition to curious students, my teaching is enhanced by my colleagues, especially the philosophers among them, two sons who are reaching college age and my wife Gretchen who has always shared her wisdom with me. 


 

Educational History

Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology.  Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA.  2007

Master of Theological Studies. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL   1996

Master of Divinity. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL. 1995

Bachelor of Arts. Otterbein College, Westerville, OH      1991

Scholarship/Research

Select Writing

 “The Grateful Dead and Rock’s Religious Significance” guest entry on Rock and Theology Blog  by Tom Beaudoin

" Food for the Journey: Wesleyan Eucharistic Piety and the Integrated Christian Life," in Vital Christianity: Spirituality, Justice and Christian

              Practice. ed. David Weaver-Zercher and William Willimon (New York: T&T Clark, 2005).

 “Ten Thoughts Upon the Use of the Great Thanksgiving,” Sacramental Life, 16, no.4 (2004): 822-826.

Recent Presentations

• November  17  2012 “With Belief in Mind: Blessed John Henry Newman’s Illative sense as Pedagogical Catalyst in the Undergraduate Philosophy of God (Religion) Course.”  Western N.Y./Western Pa. Regional Meeting of the Catholic Philosophical Association of America, Canisius College, Buffalo, N.Y.


• June 29, 2012   “What’s the big deal about Contraception?  John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and the Meaning of Sex” Oil City Deanery’s Celebration of Religious Liberty, Fryburg, Pa. 


• Fall 2011-Summer 2012:   “From Aspirant to Candidate: Mentoring in the Diocesan Deacon Formation Program:” Monthly lectures given to Deacon Candidates on role, identity and philosophy of ministry at St. Mark’s Center, Erie, PA.