Posts by Faith-in-Scholarship

Continuing our series on values for scholarship, David Hanson looks at God’s calling for humans to innovate.

Scholarship is subject to cultural-formative norms. Humans never fabricate ex nihilo – only God does that. Yet the bringing of ‘new things’ into existence reflects God’s creative power in our calling to stewardly dominion of the world. Cooking a meal, composing music, writing a nation’s constitution: all respond to this calling.

This week we return to our series on local Christian postgraduate groups with a contribution from the Nottingham group. This group has been running for quite a number of years, with ups and downs. Alison Woodward and Esther Mokori tell us what they are up to at the moment:

Graduate Christian Fellowship (GCF) is a Student Union society at the University of Nottingham which serves postgraduate students, but has also had a fourth year language student and post docs/visiting academics attending in the past three years. We meet weekly during term time, with some holiday socials. Our meetings are open to all.

Roy Clouser starts our series on good scholarship with a look at the logical aspect of reality.

We often speak of an idea or plan as “logical” using that as a term of praise. What we usually mean is that the idea makes sense or the plan appears a good way to proceed. But the term “logical” is used in philosophy and the sciences to name a specific kind of properties and laws. According to Reformational Philosophy these properties and laws form a distinct aspect of all creation. Let’s start with the most basic laws of logic, the fundamental logical axioms.

Dr Xia Zhu describes the role of Christian academic groups in her faith:

I was brought up and educated in a system which believes in no god and claims that the reason why so many gods look like men is because they are simply human illusions. Ironically, it was in order to understand a different culture that I was encouraged to read the Bible by a professor from my undergraduate studies. 

This week we present our first ever group post.  Some of the FiSch Fellows, plus guest Alan Chettle, each give their response to a question that we asked ourselves:

"Who needs faith in scholarship?"

Richard: "Students…"

Just by starting a masters or PhD programme, you demonstrate a conviction that it’s worth devoting time to painstaking study of something about the world – God’s world.  What’s more, we put great faith in scholars whose work we cite, often without knowing much about their deepest convictions and motivations.  Here I wonder: are we trusting in the autonomy of pure reason to produce human knowledge, or in the common grace of our Lord to enable all kinds of people to discover God’s truth?

A guest post by Will Allchorn, a PhD student in Leeds

As a Christian studying politics, I always find it fascinating looking at intersections between my faith and politics. Last Thursday’s UK General Election gave me this chance. Here are some of the findings I unearthed having looked at the political science literature on Christian voting in the UK.

Bruce Wearne presented this paper at the Faith-in-Scholarship Postgraduate Leaders’ Conference in Leeds, February 2014

For it is not the one commending himself who is accepted, but the one whom the Lord commends.

2 Corinthians 10:18

Let’s engage our imaginations for a minute with respect to the event at the end of your search for academic qualifications. What is to happen? What has been the purpose of all this striving?

Pause to consider your own institution’s certificate. Then consider another possibility, this imagined citation on the testamur of a fictional “Christian” institution:

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