Students Discuss Free Will and Determinism

Posted on April 23rd, 2019 by

On Thursday, March 28, the Gustavus Religion Department and Chaplains office co-sponsored the inaugural “Pub Theology” event at Third Street Tavern in St. Peter. “Pub Theology” is essentially an opportunity for students and faculty to meet at an off-campus location and discuss theology and religion while enjoying a spread of appetizers and a drink. The first event was centered around free will, and how free will is discussed in various theological traditions. Professors Bunge, Couey, Elledge, Gaebler, Kessler, and Ruble joined the fun.  Conversation was open and unstructured with individuals free to arrive and circulate as they desired.

Both faculty and students enjoyed Pub Theology and felt it was a special event. “This event was a great place to talk openly about the tough religious questions that we all face,” explained Tanner Sonnek ‘19, “but also have fun while doing it!” Dr. Sarah Ruble said that Pub Theology was valuable in that it “offered a chance for people to talk about pressing questions in an environment where there were no right answers, just lots of inquisitive minds and different experiences.” Additionally, participants enjoyed getting to talk with people they may have never known at Gustavus otherwise. Joyce Amakoue ‘20 explained, “I liked how I got to speak with people I wouldn’t have otherwise had a connection with, people from a variety of fields rather than just one department,” and Sonnek added that Pub Theology is “a great place to bring or meet friends and to learn a lot about others.”


Pub Theology events may be held in the future, and we look forward to continuing this tradition of bringing people from across Gustavus together to engage in these important and relevant conversations surrounding religion and theology. The opportunity to discuss theology in a comfortable setting over some appetizers not only cultivated new ideas, but it brought people together to think critically about theological questions and to learn from one another.  (~Michelle Simms, ’19)


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