Scholarship and Christian Faith: Enlarging the Conversation / Edition 1

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This book enters a lively discussion about religious faith and higher education in America that has been going on for a decade or more. During this time many scholars have joined the debate about how best to understand the role of faith in the academy at large and in the special arena of church-related Christian higher education. The notion of faith-informed scholarship has, of course, figured prominently in this conversation. But, argue Douglas and Rhonda Jacobsen, the idea of Christian scholarship itself has been remarkably under-discussed. Most of the literature has assumed a definition of Christian scholarship that is Reformed and evangelical in orientation: a model associated with the phrase "the integration of faith and learning." The authors offer a new definition and analysis of Christian scholarship that respects the insights of different Christian traditions (e.g., Catholic, Lutheran, Anabaptist, Wesleyan, Pentecostal) and that applies to the arts and to professional studies as much as it does to the humanities and the natural and social sciences. The book itself is organized as a conversation. Five chapters by the Jacobsens alternate with four contributed essays that sharpen, illustrate, or complicate the material in the preceding chapters. The goal is both to map the complex terrain of Christian scholarship as it actually exists and to help foster better connections between Christian scholars of differing persuasions and between Christians and the academy as a whole.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This ranks as one of the best contributions to the debate

so far. This is a helpful and serious study, which manages

to be constructive as well as realistic. It may be warmly

recommended to any readers who are concerned with the

relationship between their commitment to scholarship and

their commitment to Christianity." —Theology

"Clearly, the Jacobsens have succeeded in their goal. They have enlarged the conversation. They have raised questions, gained clarity on some issues, and provided dialogue from a part of the Christian community that has not spoken so clearly on the subject before. Yet, let us keep the conversation alive." —Calvin Theological Journal

"Wise and compelling, fresh and creative, this book helps us think in bold new ways about the relation between Christian faith and secular learning. Mounting a strong critique of the integrationist model that has dominated the conversation about faith and learning in recent years, this book lays out a powerful argument that the work of the Christian scholar is first of all the constructive work of building bridges—bridges that link the life of the mind to the life of the heart, bridges that reach from Christian learning to secular learning, and bridges that tie learning not only to faith, but to hope and love as well. Here is a book to be savored." —Richard T. Hughes, author of How Christian Faith Can Sustain the Life of the Mind

"This book will advance and appreciably enlarge the national conversation about the character of Christian scholarship. Its lively 'configural' organization exemplifies what it recommends: creative exchanges among faculty members, each of whom belongs concurrently to multiple communities of belief and discursive practice. The tangled but often productive relationships between religious conviction and open inquiry have seldom been so well displayed and so thoughtfully analyzed."—Mark Schwehn, author of Exiles from Eden: Religion and the Academic Vocation in America

"Scholarship and Christian Faith adds rarely heard Anabaptist and evangelical voices to the expanding dialogue about Christian faith, higher education and the intellectual life. The Jacobsens and their friends, whose conversations created this book, are refreshingly realistic, pastoral, and constructive, pushing beyond too easy appeals for integration to confront questions of faith formation, curriculum, and religious practice. Serious, reflective Christians will find this book useful and at times inspiring."—David J. O'Brien, author of From the Heart of the American Church: Catholic Higher Education and American Culture

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195170382
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/8/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Lexile: 1520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Jacobsen is Distinguished Professor of Church History and Theology at Messiah College and is the author, most recently, of Thinking in the Spirit: Theologies of the Early Pentecostal Movement (2003). Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen is Professor of Psychology and Director of Faculty Development at Messiah College.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Virtue of Scholarly Hope 3
Ch. 1 More Than the "Integration" of Faith and Learning 15
Imbricating Faith and Learning: The Architectonics of Christian Scholarship 33
Ch. 2 Living the Questions of Learning and Faith 45
Is There a Christian History of Science? 63
Ch. 3 Scholarship and the Varieties of Christian Faith 77
A Modest (Though Not Particularly Humble) Claim for Scholarship in the Anabaptist Tradition 103
Ch. 4 Scholarship Defined and Embodied 119
Instinctive Response as a Tool for the Scholar 135
Ch. 5 Contours and Contexts of Christian Scholarship 151
Epilogue: Campus Climate and Christian Scholarship 171
Index 185
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