In his second talk at the annual FiSch Leader’s Conference, Tom McLeish picked up where he had left off at the end of his first talk. He took us back to the Scriptures and the biblical idea of wisdom, showing how wisdom engages with the created world, and how wisdom should lead us to joined-up thinking.
ideas for academics
For the next few weeks the FiSch blog posts will contain summaries of the talks given at the annual FiSch postgraduate leaders’ conference. The first talk was one of two given by Tom McLeish titled “Science, Wisdom and Interdisciplinarity”.
A little while ago, I introduced you to Abraham Kuyper, also known as Abraham the Great. One of the things he was passionate about was Christian scholarship. This led him to founding and leading, as rector magnificus and as professor in theology and literature, a Christian university, the Free University in Amsterdam. Why did he think this was important, and what can we, as Christian scholars, take away from this?
One of the things we are aiming to do through Faith-in-Scholarship is to direct Christian postgraduates (and others) to helpful resources and initiatives. This week I wanted to draw your attention to a book that helped me understand the academic task from a Christian worldview. This book is Cornelius Plantinga’s “Engaging God’s World: A Christian vision of faith, learning and living”.
When I moved from the Netherlands to the UK, I discovered that many British Christians knew the names of two Dutch Christians from the past: Corrie ten Boom  and Abraham Kuyper. However, though many had read some of Corrie ten Boom’s books, they did not know much about Abraham Kuyper other than that he said ‘there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’’ So who was he, and how did he come to this statement?
It has been said that a specialist is one who knows more and more about less and less … until he knows everything about nothing!
As Abraham Kuyper never said: “All of life is redeemed, apart from the mundane stuff”. When Kuyper was writing the Stone lectures was he thinking about completing a bi-annual PhD progress report, doing the online fire training course again (could a fire occur in virtual space?), checking references, filing ethical permission applications, ordering paper for the communal printer or reading submission guidelines1?
How can we bring Jesus’ lordship to bear on ordinary administrative jobs2? Here our focus is on understanding the culture of administration3 to inform our response.
When you look at a mushroom, what do you see? You might be attracted by its colourful hood, or by its smell. Or you may think of mushrooms in garlic butter. When I look at a mushroom, I see the fruit body of a basidiomycete. This is because mushrooms are currently a research topic for me. And whilst I see the same object as you, I have a slightly different reaction to it.