Philosopher Alvin Plantinga Retires

Philosopher Alvin Plantinga Retires

Prof. Alvin Plantinga, a former Calvin College professor of philosophy and leading figure in the field of the philosophy of religion, is being honored this week by a special conference at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., from which he is retiring.

"It's been a tremendous pleasure and privilege for me to be at Notre Dame these last 28 years. I've had the chance to work with some terrific grad students—students who are not only fine philosophers, but also wonderful people. I'm proud of them," said Plantinga.

A Calvin College philosophy professor for nearly 20 years before moving to Notre Dame in the early 1980s, Plantinga will be honored with a retirement celebration and conference this week that will include presentations from a wide range of scholars, says Michael Rea, professor of philosophy and the Director of the Center for the Philosophy of Religion at Notre Dame.

"Alvin Plantinga is one of the most important and influential philosophers of the 20th and early 21st centuries," says Rea. "His publications range over a wide variety of fields, but his most enduring contributions have been in metaphysics, epistemology, and, especially, the philosophy of religion.

"Besides introducing important arguments into the literature on the philosophy of religion, however, Plantinga has also played an important role in shaping the way in which many religious philosophers now approach topics in their own fields of specialization," says Rea.

As for Plantinga, Rea writes: “Of all the teachers I had the privilege of learning from at Notre Dame, none seemed more effective in the classroom than Plantinga. Furthermore, Plantinga takes his role as a teacher of graduate students very seriously.

"I treasure the time I spent working with him and the friendship that grew out of it, and I know that my experience was not unique. Several friends of mine were and are students of Plantinga’s, and I know that all of them would have very similar things to say about their own experiences…."