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.
I’m excited to tell you about a FiSch research project. The Faith-in-Scholarship Working Group on Ecosystem Services (FiSWES) draws together fourteen Christian thinkers (mostly academics) to explore new perspectives on a specific problem. We’ve already had two meetings in Leeds this year, with a third one planned.
While I was an academic astronomer, I probably spent most of my time not peering through a telescope, but typing away at a computer, wondering why my code didn’t work. Now, computer software wasn’t my area of research, so I didn’t give much attention to it from a Christian perspective. But is there a Christian approach to writing computer software? Should we be “coding for Christ”?
There are few topics in theology that so readily act as a prism to refract one’s worldview and reveal various strands of one’s theological commitments as the topic of life after death. When discussing what happens at death one very quickly reveals one’s hand on a variety of issues. Three that spring to mind are the following: the value and purpose of human life, the ontological nature of the human person and the efficacy of Christ’s death on the cross.
I’m struck by the richness of St Luke’s account of the first Easter. I always find it fascinating how the Gospel writers juxtapose the elements of their accounts, especially Luke: how one episode sheds light on the next once I ignore the chapter breaks. And the passion narratives are especially rich for their compilation of different people’s perspectives. There’s something here that reminds me of academic diversity – as I shall explain anon.
At the FiSch Leader’s Conference, Andrew Basden showed us how a deeper understanding of God as Creator enables us to open up new avenues of meaning in our scholarship.
What impact does your faith have on your scholarship? From ‘basic’ to more complex, there are several ways in which our faith can support the content and conduct of our research:
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.