As the newest member of the Faith in Scholarship team, I’ve been asked to introduce myself as my colleagues have previously done. I am currently based in London (Ontario, Canada!) where I serve as chaplain and professor of theology at Western University. I also teach New Testament interpretation at Redeemer Universitypart time.
Can Christian thinking enhance academic work? It's our conviction, at Faith-in-Scholarship, that it can. So I'm excited to tell you about a paper offering a positive contribution to philosophy of science on the basis of a Christian philosophy. It's about scientific objectivity. Common definitions of objectivity call for a 'view from nowhere', or guaranteed repeatability of results, or getting nature to reveal herself, and often imply some kind of inerrancy. Instead, we propose that objectivity is projection: representing a complex system using numbers, diagrams, photographs or videos, for example.
In the past year, while worldwide lockdowns have been instituted for the preservation of life, many people have been forced to ponder anew what the value of it is: what, if anything, makes life ‘beautiful’? In the silence of our isolated homes, the call to find meaning—a call which has always been sounding in the background of society—has become more difficult for us to ignore.
Before the pandemic, recent university graduates often told me about their struggles finding work in their field of study. Since the pandemic, most young adults I talk to have given up on the idea of finding permanent employment in their field of training or choice. In many ways, the pandemic has functioned as a revelation of the state of our economics. And if we have eyes to see (not only the benefits enjoyed by some but also) the tragic consequences of our economic system, then we are responsible to discern our opportunities in the midst of the challenges.
This is the third in a series of posts considering the Covid-19 pandemic from the perspective of the various ‘aspects’ proposed by reformational philosophy. Last week Alicia Smith considered the religious aspect of the pandemic – the way it has revealed the underlying influence of religious attitudes and priorities on collective thought and action.
In this week's installment of our series of reflections on the various dimensions of the Covid-19 pandemic, I'm briefly considering the question: how has Covid-19 revealed the religious orientation of our lives? I'm taking this phrase 'religious orientation' to mean the ways in which our lives, individually and collectively, are shaped and directed towards certain priorities by a religion: a set of habits and practices emerging from a specific worldview and tradition.
I want to ask some questions about what may be the most prominent rift among Christians in our day, evident in scholarly writing as well as campaigning and, dare I say, in a large chunk of the discussions I see among my acquaintances on social media. I must tread carefully here! But I offer the following in the spirit of biblical faithfulness and reconciliation, hoping to stimulate more-gracious, higher-quality discussion than I'm familiar with on these issues. Above all, I am expressing my grief about the polarisation that I see.
We're starting a new series looking at the phenomenon of Covid-19, this strange disease that has spread to virtually every part of the world's population over the last 18 months or so and is attributed with the deaths of more than 3 million people so far. This basically biotic event is having wide-ranging effects on human societies and cultures, and can thus be said to be making history. As such, it raises lots of important questions that we ought to be interested in from a Christian perspective.
Mike Wagenman introduces a new series on scholarly disagreement.
How does a Christian scholar navigate scholarly disagreements? Over the years, I’ve endured my fair share of differences of opinion, perspective, and conviction with academic peers. Sometimes they have been friendly and fruitful but more often they have devolved into bitterness, bullying, and even personal attacks. And sometimes the worst offenders have been fellow Christians.