Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Barry Whitney. He is a Music Lover and had written several songs over the last 10 years and has recently released his album.
Dr. Barry Whitney is a celebrated professor/ scholar who is most appreciated for his ability to inspire a highly diverse audience to think deeply about their personal beliefs.
Dr. Whitney earned his Honours B.A. from Carleton University and his Ph.D. from McMaster University. He was Professor of Christian Studies at the University of Windsor for 30 years, having taught several thousand students in a wide variety of courses.
He has published several books and over 400 book chapters, journal articles, encyclopedia articles, book reviews, abstracts, and interviews. He also edited 28 issues of an international philosophy journal.
Hi, Great to have you with us today! Please tell us about what it is that you do.
I am a Canadian Husband, Father, Professor, and Music Lover! I was fortunate to teach thousands of students during my years in University classrooms, and now my lectures continue in a podcast series. Music has also been a significant part of my life, so it’s very exciting that the songs that I wrote over the last 10 years are now being released as an album.
Please tell us more about your journey.
I am 74 years young, and it’s been an incredible life so far. I have a beautiful family and life and am very fortunate to have loved what I did/do for a career. My passion has been teaching- and I focused on what is called Theodicy in academia. Basically, it answers the question…how we can believe in a loving God when there is so much suffering. Also, I taught the importance of justifying what we believe. First, for ourselves and also so we can dialogue with each other. It’s been a privilege to teach so many amazing students over the years and see the impact that it has on them. The music I have been drawn to and written is inspired by these deeper aspects of life as well. To me, it’s a creative way to connect with the Divine at a spiritual and soul level.
Please tell us more about your music.
My grandmother was an excellent organist, and my parents were great singers, so music was in my family from the start. I was in the church choir when I was 4 but was told not to sing!
Years later, I was then given the tuba to play at school because I was the biggest in the music class. You can imagine the patience of my parents and brothers who endured my practice. Then, a friend gave me a guitar, and I was hooked. In high school, my friend Victor and I began a duo which was a lot of fun. Throughout my education and career, I have played the keyboard guitar to connect, reflect, and relax.
A few years ago, I learned Garageband, and I loved the ability to create such a broad spectrum of music. Around that time, I had a health trial, and all I could do was a few hours of anything, and these melodies flowed out of me despite my weakness. I honestly felt like they were gifted to me to help me through that time. To this day, I listen to them over and over as they take me to that place of comfort and connection with God. I look so forward to telling Alexa to play them!
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
I have learned that trials are a gift. They help us see our humanity, our weaknesses, and most importantly if we allow it, they draw us closer to our Maker. My darkest times have been where I have connected with God the most and continue to gain a deeper experience on a personal level and to gain a richer level of peace and trust as a result. Trials have also inspired my teaching and music. Given I have taught about suffering for many years, all that I have faced in the past and present gives me understanding, compassion, and confidence to connect with others in their quest to understand and find meaning in suffering.
Any message for our readers.
Yes! Do not wait for a trial to start thinking about what you believe. Invest some time now so that you will have more understanding. If you would like to explore with me, I invite all who are seeking to the Podcast series.
The lectures on Justifying Beliefs can be found on Apple Podcasts or on Thinking with Dr. Barry Whitney.
If you are interested in Theodicy: how we can believe in a God when there is so much suffering, the lectures can be found on Youtube channel.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
I have an old website for those looking for more resources on the topics that I have taught and what has inspired my music of late.
And although I have not put a lot of time into social media of late as I am too busy keeping up with our four animals, I do have a Facebook page.
You can also check out my Instagram @drbarrywhitney.
Thank you so much for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!