2000 IG Recipients

Aquinas’s Ethics: Metaphysical Foundations, Moral Theory, and Theological Context
Rebecca Konyndyk de Young
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Calvin College
Project Director
Colleen McCluskey
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Saint Louis University
Eleonore Stump
Professor of Philosophy
Saint Louis University
Christian Van Dyke
Visiting Professor of Philosophy
Saint Louis University
Project Abstract:
Our project aims at putting Aquinas’s ethics back into its proper philosophical and theological context. In particular, we propose 1) to examine the way in which Aquinas’s ethical theory (particularly his account of the virtues) builds on his metaphysics of human beings and his theory of action, and 2) to address these components of his philosophy (ethics, metaphysics, and action theory) from the theological perspective which we as Christians share—a perspective which we believe proves necessary for understanding the richness and value of Aquinas’s philosophy. Our project will break new ground in Aquinas scholarship and will contribute usefully to existing discussions not just in medieval philosophy, but also in contemporary ethics, action theory, and metaphysics.
The ultimate goal of our project is a book-length study addressing these issues, written as a collaborative effort by Drs. Rebecca Konyndyk De Young (Calvin College), a specialist in Aquinas’s ethics and virtue theory, Colleen McCluskey (St. Louis University), a specialist in medieval theories of human action and free will, and Christian Van Dyke (St. Louis University), a specialist in Aquinas’s metaphysics with a special focus on the metaphysis of human persons. Funding provided by the CCCU Initiative Grant will facilitate our collaboration on this book by means of several summer workshops. It will also provide the opportunity for faculty release time and a research support fund, and it will enable us to disseminate our research more broadly in the philosophical and academic Christian community by means of a special session of the SCP/ACPA meeting at the Central APA in 2002 and a conference (sponsored in part by St. Louis University’s Wade Memorial Fund) to be held in the spring of 2003.
Dr. Eleonore Stump (St. Louis University) will take an active role in all aspects of the project, serving as consultant for the summer workshops and as advisor and resource person for the conference; she will also critique the participants’ written work as it progresses.
Responding as Whole Persons in the Face of Life-Threatening Disease: An Evaluation of Interrelationships Between Quality of Life Measures, Spiritual Beliefs, Neuropsychological Functioning, and Immunological Response for Cancer Patients
Michael Boivin
Dept. Of Psychology
Indiana Wesleyan University
Project Director
Steve Passik
Director of Oncology and Symptom Control Research
Community Cancer Care, Inc.
Bruce Giordani
Associate Director of Neuropsychology Program
Psychiatry Department
University of Michigan
Burt Webb
Dept. of Biology
Indiana Wesleyan University
Dept. Of Immunology
Continuing Medical Education Center of Indiana University Medical School, Muncie
Project Abstract:
The principal purpose of this grant would be to support a collaborative research project to examine the relationship of spiritual beliefs in cancer patients to their emotional and psychological well-being, as well as to neuropsychological functioning. All of these factors will then be related to immunological response measures in the patients using sophisticated statistical modeling techniques so that the role of these factors can be better understood in light of patients’ resiliency in the face of this disease. In assessing and evaluating the interrelationships between the spiritual, emotional, psychological, neuropsychological, and immunological domains, we hope to better understand how these individuals function and respond to the crisis of cancer as whole persons. We feel that such an approach will more effectively predict how well individuals will cope with cancer. This, as opposed to a model based on viewing the person as comprised of compartmentalized soul/body/spirit entities that interact only loosely and in ill-defined ways, as is often assumed within a Platonic dualistic framework that is still the dominant paradigm within the evangelical helping professional community. As such, this study has relevance to the Christian helping professionals and physicians in a practical sense as he/she seeks to address the needs of the whole person in counseling or in medically treating cancer patients. However, this project also has the potential of significant philosophical and theological bearing on the mind/body issue, as it seeks to empirically document and effectively model the inter-relationships among the spiritual, psychological, and physiological domain. This is especially true as we seek to develop a holistic model of the person in psycho-oncology that is robust enough to allow for an integration of a theological perspective of the person (where a consideration of spiritual well-being is significant), with the scientific revolution taking place in face of significant brain/behavior advances within neuroimmunology and behavioral neuroscience (where spiritual well-being acts and is acted upon by brain processes reflected in neuropsychological functioning, which is in turn expressed in emotional and immunological response). Maier and Watkins (1998) provide an excellent review of the overwhelming evidence now emerging as to the immune-to-brain communication for understanding behavior, mood, and cognition. We hope to incorporate spiritual well-being and neuropsychological functioning as well, into the critical factors being considered in such research and the mind/brain models emerging from it.
Cooperative Christianity in Comparative Perspective: Canadian Interdenominational Relations, Past and Present
Daniel Goodwin
Assistant Professor of History
Atlantic Baptist University
Project Director
Dennis Hoover
Resident Fellow
Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life
Trinity College
Richard Loughheed
Professor of Church History and Old Testament
Faculte de Theologie Evangelique (Montreal)
Mark Noll
McManis Chair of Christian Thought
Wheaton College
Samuel Reimer
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Atlantic Baptist University
Project Abstract:
In contrast to the United States, Canada is internationally reputed to be the more accommodating and peaceable nation. This reputation is also shared by the Christian traditions within Canada. This research project considers the distinctiveness of interdenominational relations among Christian groups in Canada from the nineteenth century to the present. Five scholars with expertise in the diverse fields of religious history, theology, sociology and political science examine the cooperative (and sometimes conflicting) attitudes and practices of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christian groups in Canada, using Christianity in the United States as a foil. The proposed research will be disseminated in colloquia in both Canada and the United States, with the final goal of an edited volume, jointly published in both the United States and Canada.