Featured Speaker Bios

Andy Crouch

Andy Crouch is partner for theology and culture at Praxis, an organization that works as a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship. His two most recent books—2017’s The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place and 2016’s Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing—build on the compelling vision of faith, culture, and the image of God laid out in his previous books Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power and Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling.

Andy serves on the governing boards of Fuller Theological Seminary and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. For more than ten years he was an editor and producer at Christianity Today, including serving as executive editor from 2012 to 2016. He served the John Templeton Foundation in 2017 as senior strategist for communication. His work and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and several editions of Best Christian Writing and Best Spiritual Writing—and, most importantly, received a shout-out in Lecrae’s 2014 single “Non-Fiction.”

From 1998 to 2003, Andy was the editor-in-chief of re:generation quarterly, a magazine for an emerging generation of culturally creative Christians. For ten years he was a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Harvard University. He studied classics at Cornell University and received an M.Div. summa cum laude from Boston University School of Theology. A classically trained musician who draws on pop, folk, rock, jazz, and gospel, he has led musical worship for congregations of 5 to 20,000. He lives with his family in Pennsylvania.

Website: http://andy-crouch.com/
Twitter: @ahc

April 26, 2018; Coffee Chat with Meghan Sullivan for ND Magazine photo (Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)

Meghan Sullivan

Professor of Philosophy, Notre Dame

Meghan Sullivan is a Professor of Philosophy, the Rev. John A O’Brien Collegiate Chair, and the Director of the University Philosophy Requirement at the University of Notre Dame. Sullivan’s research tends to focus on philosophical problems concerning time, modality, rational planning and religious belief (but rarely all four at once). She teaches courses at all levels, including large introductory courses like God and the Good Life, gateway seminars like Philosophy as a Way of Life, and specialized graduate seminars on metaphysics, philosophical logic, rationality and value. She runs the Engaged Philosophy Group at Notre Dame with a team of staff, post-docs, PhD students, undergrad fellows and faculty collaborators. The EPG leads initiatives to connect academic research in ethics, epistemology and metaphysics to broad questions of human flourishing.

Sullivan has degrees from the University of Virginia (BA: Philosophy and Politics, Highest Distinction), Oxford (B.Phil: Philosophy), and Rutgers (PhD: Philosophy). She studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (Balliol College).

Sullivan has published work in many of the leading philosophy journals, including NousEthics and Philosophical Studies.  You can read many of those papers here. Her first book — Time Biases —came out with Oxford University Press in summer 2018. Time Biases develops a theory of diachronic rationality, personal identity and rational planning. She is now writing a book on intellectual commitment, ethical commitment, and rational faith.

Sullivan is deeply interested in the ways philosophy contributes to the good life and the best methods for promoting the study of philosophy. Since 2017, she has raised over $1.2M to support projects for research and teaching in publicly engaged philosophy. Sullivan is currently the Principal Investigator for the Mellon Foundation’s Philosophy as a Way of Life grant (2018-2021). Information about joining the Mellon Network can be found at philife.nd.edu. Sullivan is also the PI for the John Templeton Foundation’s Philosophy and Religion Engaged with the Public (PREP) pilot program. And in July 2018 she co-organized an NEH Institute on Philosophy as a Way of Life with Stephen Angle (Wesleyan) and Stephen Grimm (Fordham). The Engaged Philosophy Group collaborates with faculty at many departments in the US and abroad.

Sullivan regularly writes shorter public philosophy essays — including pieces in The Huffington Post, Commonweal and First Things — and gives public philosophy talks. She is a co-editor for the Philosophy of Religion portfolio of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. She serves on (too) many committees and frequently does research with postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students. You can get all of the gory details by reading her CV.

When not philosophizing, Sullivan enjoys cooking, biking, building elaborate Star Wars Lego sets, reading science fiction, and traveling the world. She cheers for the Fighting Irish and Virginia Cavaliers in all of their endeavors, and when they play each other she has a rational crisis.

Tyler VanderWeele

Tyler J. VanderWeele, Ph.D., is the John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Co-Director of the Initiative on Health, Religion and Spirituality, faculty affiliate of the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and Director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University in mathematics, philosophy, theology, finance and applied economics, and biostatistics. His research concerns methodology for distinguishing between association and causation in observational studies, and the use of statistical and counterfactual ideas to formalize and advance epidemiologic theory and methods. His empirical research spans psychiatric, perinatal, and social epidemiology; the science of happiness and flourishing; and the study of religion and health, including both religion and population health and the role of religion and spirituality in end-of-life care. He is the recipient of the 2017 COPSS Presidents’ Award from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies. He has published over two hundred and fifty papers in peer-reviewed journals, and is author of the book Explanation in Causal Inference, published by Oxford University Press.


Virginia Cumberbatch

As a creative, scholar and organizer, Virginia Cumberbatch’s work sits at the intersection of community advocacy and storytelling. Virginia has served as the Director of Community Engagement and Social Equity, as a part of The University of Texas’ Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, since 2016. In 2018 she co-founded REBEL + REST with Meagan Harding, a retreat for Black activists to find respite and rejuvenation as they serve on the front lines of racial justice.

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Virginia was appointed to and is currently serving on the Mayor of Austin’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Bias, and is on the Board of Directors of Six Square: Austin’s Black Cultural District, KLRU (Austin’s PBS Station), Waller Creek Conservancy and is a Global Shaper for the World Economic Form. She has spoken at SXSWEDU, TEDx, Q Commons, the University of Western Australia’s Impact Festival and several conferences on topics related to diversity, inclusion, equity, racial reconciliation and the power of storytelling. She is the recipient of the 2016 Anti-Defamation League Social Justice Award and the 2018 Austin 40 Under 40 Award for Civics, Government and Public Affairs. Her book, As We Saw It: The Story of Integration at UT Austin was published in the spring of 2018.

Anne Snyder

Anne Snyder is the Director of The Philanthropy Roundtable‘s Character Initiative, a program that seeks to help foundations and business leaders strengthen “the middle ring” of morally formative institutions in the United States. She is also a Fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, a Houston-based think tank that explores how cities can drive opportunity for the bulk of their citizens, and a Senior Fellow at The Trinity Forum. From 2014 to 2017 Anne worked for Laity Lodge and the H.E. Butt Family Foundation in Texas, and before that she worked at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, World Affairs Journal and The New York Times. She holds a Master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University and a B.A. in philosophy and international relations from Wheaton College (IL). Anne is a Contributing Editor to Comment Magazine, an advisor to Sea Dog Theater and serves as a trustee for the Center for Public Justice, the Hyde Park Institute, and the Colangelo Carpenter Innovation Center. She has published in The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, National Journal, City Journal, Philanthropy Magazine, Orange County Register, Houston Business Journal, The Institute for Family Studies, FaithStreet, Comment Magazine, Verily, Humane Pursuits and Fare Forward, and is about to publish a book entitled The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Renewing our Social and Moral Landscape.

Christine Emba

Christine Emba is an opinion columnist and editor at The Washington Post, where she focuses on ideas, society, and culture. She previously served as a deputy editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit and as the Hilton Kramer Fellow in Criticism at The New Criterion. Emba is a 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and the BBC.