Saturday, October 23, 2010

Christian Academia: Books

Working alongside the eu postgrads this year, I've read a couple of books to help me understand the challenges and opportunities of Christian academia. What I've found is that they has been several books published in the last 20 years about the place of Christian academics. But for the most past they seem to be largely isolated from each other. Furthermore, most of the books are American and are written for the American context (i.e. having secular and faith-based universities). Here are some of the books I've found helpful:

  • The Two Tasks of The Christian Scholar, ed. William Lane Craig & Paul M. Gould, 2007. Published as a festschrift to Charles Malik, The Two Tasks has some interesting papers by Lane Craig and others. But the cash value in this book is Malik's The Two Tasks, an address he gave in 1980. It was this address which reignited a vision for university in the American evangelical scene.
  • Finding God at Harvard, ed. Kelly Monroe Kullberg, 2007. A celebration of the ministry of the Veritas Forum at Harvard, FG@H is a collection of short essays and testimonies from Christians in the Harvard community. Contributors include Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Charles Malik and others. A great insight into one of the most interesting ministries to post grads and staff in the US.
  • The State of the University, Stanley Hauerwas, 2006. A collection of Hauerwas' thoughts on the university and Christianity. Although the essay's become repetitive in the middle, Hauerwas has some gold in this book, and I appreciate the way he pushes back against the usual American angst about the university. There are also some beautiful chapters about tradition and institutions, and Rowan Williams.
  • Shining Like Stars, Lindsay Brown, 2006. Although not specifically about Christian academics, Brown has some inspiring stories about the Christians working in the university.
  • Until Justice & Peace Embrace, Nicholas Wolterstorff, 1983. This book is also not specifically about academia. However Wolterstorff has some insightful things to say to Christian post grads and scholars, and I know some people who have found him helpful.
  • Christian Academia? Matheson Russell, 2010. Originally a talk given at the Post Grad day at AnCon this year, it was later republished in VERITAS. This article lays out what the university is and how it fits into the Christian worldview.
  • 10 Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us When We Started Graduate School, Anna Blanch, Goanna Tree, updated 2010. Helpful advice from a Christian academic.
There is also several American and British websites with some resources on them. And Kelly Monroe Kullberg has another book, Finding God Beyond Harvard, which I'd like to read at some point. Oh, there are also some theologians like O'Donovan and McGrath who have things to say about academia in several places.

Know of any other books which have something to say about the university? I'd love to know. And at some point I should share some ideas I've had about university and the doctrine of creation...


philgroom said...

"Hardvard" - love it! Don't ever correct that!!

philgroom said...

PS: Suggest you contact Adrian Smith or John Wilks at London School of Theology. They'll be up to speed with this. LST Faculty info page

Matthew Moffitt said...

Mistake! That was so bad, sorry, but I had to change it.