Posts by Faith-in-Scholarship

Bush of knowledge diagram: from religious roots via paradigms to observations

This guest post by Richard Russell, with input from Arthur Jones, looks at the way scientific knowledge grows out of philosophical and ultimately religious roots. 

Guest blogger Audrey Southgate reflects on lessons drawn from studying a morally problematic figure. 

Some view the past as a shackle from which the present must free itself. By contrast, I grew up delighted by the stories that linked the present with the past. At church, at home, and at school, stories of admirable figures from history served as a source of inspiration. There was no question that we had much to learn from the subjects of these stories, whether Christian martyrs, great-grandparents, inventors, or other heroes. Surrounded by such stories, I came to look to authors from the past for timeless insights that would clarify my perspective in the present.

Andi Wang considers how academic modes of thinking interact with knowing through faith.

triangle diagram of university as students and academics in an ethic of mutual trust

Bruce Wearne encourages students to reflect upon institutional relationships in academic life and the effect of higher education reform.

I first developed the above diagram as a part of my response to what was happening at Chisholm Institute of Technology (CIT) in Melbourne back in the 1980s. CIT was part of the “binary system” of higher education in Australia, in which the Institutes of Technology and Colleges of Advanced Education were considered a “cheaper but equal” alternative to universities.

Tom Ingleby (above, left of centre) reflects on the workshops he attended at Church Scientific in Leeds

J.S. Bach often scribbled Soli Deo Gloria at the end of his music: glory to God alone. His humble dedications are beautiful—and striking because of his genius—but they have always left me with niggling questions. We are all called to dedicate our work to the glory of God, but what if we don’t have any glittering keyboard suites on hand? What if all we have to offer just…isn’t great? After all, it doesn’t seem quite the same typing Soli Deo Gloria on an under-baked thesis as it would writing it at the end of a masterly cantata…

To recognise our position in a "dynamic ecosystem" of knowing is to recognise the reciprocal nature of scientific understanding - even, perhaps, that it is made possible by One whose knowledge surpasses all human understanding.

Richard Vytniorgu develops his exposition of a view of scientific progress that recognises the very creaturely nature of our existence. There's no view from nowhere: scientists, like everyone else, are in the midst of the cocktail party of history!

billiard balls in motion

Richard Vytniorgu introduces a way of thinking about scientific work by rooting it in its social context.

This is the first in a series of three posts in which I introduce the transactional approach to doing science – an approach which encourages us to position scientific work within a broader matrix of beliefs and values. Although I’m not a scientist, my work in literary theory has brought me into contact with the transactional approach via its American advocate in literary studies and English education, Louise Rosenblatt.

The concluding part of Rudi Hayward's review of "Tracing the Lines" sketches Robert Sweetman's proposal to reconcile God's common grace to all scholars with the power of that same grace to transform the believer's mind redemptively.

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