Networking Grants

Overview

Networking Grants for Christian Scholars were created to encourage collaborative scholarship among faculty serving at CCCU member institutions and to connect these faculty with broader networks. The goal of the program is to create and disseminate high quality scholarship that brings Christian voices into contemporary academic conversations.

Audience. Successful projects will create networks that promote collaborative scholarship that is significantly informed by Christian practices, perspectives, and purposes and that is disseminated in the wider academy. Projects targeted to Christian audiences, such as research or the dissemination of materials that are primarily focused on CCCU institutions or churches, are not eligible for awards.

Team members. The project director for each Networking team must be a full-time faculty member at an institution that is a full member of the CCCU.  Team members must include faculty from at least one other CCCU member or affiliate institution and may include faculty from non-CCCU schools. Project directors are encouraged to assemble a team from a variety of institutions.

Application Deadline for Networking Grants is February 18, 2019

Applicants may choose from two options: Planning Grants and Initiative Grants.

Planning Grants ($1,500 – $3,000 for one-year)
Focus:
networking teams wishing to plan research projects.
Due: February 18, 2019
Anticipated awards: up to three one-year Planning Grants

Successful Planning Grants may later result in a proposed Initiative Grant or in a request for funding from another source.

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Initiative Grants ($18,000 over three years)
Focus:
implementation of research projects
Due: February 18, 2019
Anticipated awards: up to two three-year Initiative Grants

Awards for 2019 Planning and Initiative Grants will be announced in April 2019.

Planning Grant: Requests for Proposals

Purpose:  Planning Grants are intended to bring Christian voices into contemporary academic conversations and to make an important contribution beyond the Christian academy and other Christian audiences. Planning Grants enable networking teams to plan research projects by conducting exploratory conversation among a small group of scholars.  Successful Planning Grants may later result in a proposed Initiative Grant or in a request for funding from another source. Successful Planning Grant proposals should be designed in light of the goals and requirements for an Initiative Grant.

Eligible topics: Planning Grant topics must be of interest to the larger academy; articulating a potential research program that is significantly informed by Christian practices, perspectives, and purposes. Projects targeted to Christian audiences, such as research or the dissemination of materials that are primarily focused on CCCU institutions or churches, are not eligible for awards.

Personnel requirements. The project director for a Planning Grant must be a full-time faculty member at an institution that is a full member of the CCCU.

The Planning Grant team must include at least two additional members, one of whom is from another CCCU member or affiliate institution. Faculty members from non-CCCU institutions may be included.

Participating scholars must be qualified for conducting a research program in the identified topic area, with demonstrated ability to drawn on needed research data, theories, and networks to ensure successful project completion and dissemination.

Project period:  1 year (12 months)

Estimated award size:  $1,500 – $3,000

Estimated number of awards: up to three annually

Due date & submission: All application documents must be submitted by 11:59pm on February 18, 2019.  Submit online using the form provided.

Application components (see Planning Grants Application Information for details):

Title

Abstract

Project Director & team members information

Project Proposal Narrative, to include project plan describing underlying methodology and delineate timeline and process for completing the project, and dissemination plan identifying suggested venues for disseminating scholarly products.

Project Proposal Budget

Supplementary documents:  CVs for all team members

All application documents must be submitted by 11:59pm on February 15, 2018.

1. Look at the information page and application form for the Initiative Grants. Direct any questions to Nita Stemmler at nstemmler@cccu.org, by 1 February 2019.

2. Identify a suitable topic and appropriate Project Director and team members.

3. Write a project narrative (maximum of 1,000 words or four double-spaced pages) that includes the following:

  • a statement of the problem, question, or issue to be addressed;
  • the level of interest of the academy in that theme;
  • the ways in which the proposed research will be informed by Christian practices, perspectives, or purposes;
  • a plan for designing a research project and developing an Initiative Grantor other grant application;
  • timeline of primary planning activities, including which team members are responsible;
  • the qualifications for this particular team to address this theme;
  • expectations for eventual dissemination of research results to the larger academy.

4. Complete a budget that includes the description, timeframe, costs, and outcomes of each grant-supported activity, along with a brief justification for the basis of costs. All costs should be reasonable to the project’s scope and timeframe. While no cost-sharing is required, applicants are encouraged to draw on support from CCCU member institutions where possible.

5. Compile a succinct bibliography supporting the problem statement, substantiating the level of interest in the academy, and indicating the relationship to Christian practices, perspectives, or purposes (maximum 500 words or two double-spaced pages).

6. Write a 200-word abstract summarizing the focus, significance, and approach of the proposed research.

7. Prepare a curriculum vita for each member of the proposed research team, with a maximum length of five pages per vita (including those activities and publications judged to be most pertinent to the proposed project).

8. Complete the application form by 11:59 p.m. on February 18, 2019.

Awards will be announced by April 15, 2019.  The schedule of grant payments will be as follows:

$1,000 – $2,500 by May 15, 2019, after completion of a grant agreement form.
$500 by September 15, 2020, after receipt of a satisfactory final report.

Funds will be sent to the Business Office of the home institution of the Project Director, and that institution shall serve as the fiscal agent during the three-year term of the grant (with responsibilities indicated in a grant agreement).

Evaluation criteria: The following criteria will be used in evaluation of the proposals:
Quality of scholarship

  • clearly informed by Christian practices perspectives and purpose
  • topic of interest to larger academy with potential to advance the visibility of Christian scholarship

Proposal plan

  • effective plan, including timeline and budget
  • team expertise and background for this project

Promise of impact

  • evidence of strong network base for project
  • likelihood of effective dissemination to the academy
  • future promise for implementation (Initiative Grant  or other funding)

Initiative Grant: Requests for Proposals

Purpose: Initiative Grants are designed to enable small groups of Christian scholars to network in ways that will lead to collaborative scholarship on themes of interest and significance to the larger academy. Approved projects will create and disseminate scholarly work in high quality academic venues, thereby bringing Christian voices into contemporary academic conversations beyond the Christian academy. Initiative grants are intended to harness and demonstrate the power of networked, collaborative scholarship.

Eligible topics: Initiative Grants are intended to bring Christian voices into contemporary academic conversations and to make an important contribution beyond the Christian academy and other Christian audiences. Therefore, projects targeted to Christian audiences, such as research or the dissemination of materials that are primarily focused on CCCU institutions or churches, are not eligible for awards.

Although all scholarship that seeks to illuminate some aspect of God’s creation may be viewed as Christian scholarship, broadly conceived, preference will be given in this program to supporting research that is significantly informed by Christian practices, perspectives, and purposes. The application should avoid superficial approaches to Christian scholarship and should demonstrate deep reflection on the ways the Christian faith addresses issues of concern to the larger academy.

Any topic is appropriate, but applications must clearly articulate the ways in which both the research and the scholarly products draw on the riches of the Christian tradition and are themselves exemplary of Christian thought and life. Scholarly products, such as books, articles, art exhibitions, concerts, and the like need not use explicit Christian language to be significantly informed by Christian practices, perspectives, and purposes. Nor need they address overtly religious topics. But the grant application itself must clearly articulate the ways in which the proposed scholarly program is faithfully Christian.

Possible Research Group Activities:

The Networking Grant Program does not prescribe any specific activities for research teams.  Such activities should be proposed by each team solely on the basis of what will best facilitate the team’s research goals. However, preference will generally be given to proposals for which the requested funding will support a series of networking activities over the term of the grant, rather than supporting one meeting or conference. For illustration only, proposed activities may include one or more of the following:

  • An annual or semiannual meeting of the team in which members can discuss initial drafts of papers;
  • A more formal topic research symposium, where the team invites other scholars to consider the current state of scholarship relative to the theme;
  • A panel of presenters at an annual meeting of an academic proportion;
  • A pilot study, which may lead to publication and plans for a more ambitious collaborative project;
  • A public conference (partially funded by the grant), to which the team could invite other scholars having in interest in the theme. This may lead to an edited volume of essays or a dedicated issue of a journal;

The proposed budget should include line items for each proposed activity.
Personnel requirements: The research team should normally be composed of three to six members from various institutions. The project director for each Networking team must be a full-time faculty member at an institution that is a full member of the CCCU.

At least one other team member must hold a faculty position at either another CCCU member institution or a CCCU affiliate institution. Other Christian scholars comprising the team may have any academic affiliation or may be independent scholars. The team is encouraged to seek ways in which outstanding students may be included in the research activities.

Project period: 3 years (36 months)

Estimated award size:   $12,000 – $18,000

Estimated number of awards: up to two annually

Due date & submission: All application documents must be submitted by 11:59pm on February 18, 2019.  Submit online using the form provided.

Application components 

-Title
-Abstract
-Project Director & team members information
-Project Proposal Narrative, to include project plan describing underlying methodology and delineate timeline and process for completing the project, and dissemination plan identifying suggested venues for disseminating scholarly products
-Project Proposal Budget
Supplementary documents:

-CVs for all team members

-Bibliography

-Letters of reference (2) from scholars with recognized expertise related to proposal
-Letters of support from home institutions (if applicable)

Obligations after receiving an Initiative Grant.

The Project Director must complete an online report by April 15 of each year.

All publications and other productions that result from the Initiative Grant should acknowledge the support of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

Funding announcements: Awards will be announced by April 15, 2019

  • $6,000 – $9,000 by May 15, 2019, after completion of a grant agreement form.
  • $3,000 – $5,000 by May 15, 2020, after receipt of a satisfactory first-year progress report.
  • $2,000 – $3,000 by May 15, 2021, after receipt of a satisfactory second-year progress report.
  • $1,000 by May 15, 2022, after receipt of a satisfactory final project report.

Funds will be sent to the Business Office of the home institution of the Project Director, and that institution shall serve as the fiscal agent during the three-year term of the grant (with responsibilities indicated in a grant agreement).

Questions? Contact Nita Stemmler at nstemmler@cccu.org by February 1, 2018.

All application documents must be submitted by 11:59pm on February 18, 2019.

Direct any questions to Nita Stemmler at nstemmler@cccu.org by February 1, 2019.

1. Preview the Initiative Grants Application (to see the entire application click here), the selection criteria, and the potential research activities.

2. Identify an appropriate Project Director and team members.

3.  Write a project narrative (maximum of 2,250 words or nine double-spaced pages) that includes the following:

  • a statement of the problem, question, or issue the proposed project will address, the means by which the project will address the issue, the significance of the project to the larger academy, and the methodology that will be employed.
  • a clear articulation of how the research will be significantly informed by Christian practices, perspectives, or purposes.
  • a description of the team members, with a summary of previous research and publication related to their proposed topics for research.
  • a plan for individual or collaborative research by team members, with reference to how the proposed research is related to existing literature on these topics.
  • a timeline proposal for activities to be funded by the grant over the three-year grant period, with a cost breakdown for each activity and a rationale for the proposed distribution of funds.
  • a plan for creating and disseminating specific scholarly products to the larger academy, including article and chapter outlines, details of creative performances, and the like.

4. Complete a budget timeline that includes the description, timeframe, and costs of each grant-supported activity and enumerates the specific outcomes to which the proposed research is directed (e.g., an edited volume, conference(s), submission of proposal for major funding). The following format is suggested.

Timeframe
Activity Location Cost Outcome

Also provide a brief justification for the basis of costs.  All costs should be reasonable to the project’s scope and timeframe. While no cost-sharing is required, applicants are encouraged to draw on support from CCCU member institutions where possible.

5.  Prepare a bibliography of works cited in the narrative.

6. Write a 400-word abstract summarizing the focus, significance, and approach of the proposed research.

7. Prepare a curriculum vita for each member of the proposed research team, with a maximum length of five pages per vita (including those activities and publications judged to be most pertinent to the proposed project).

8. Request two letters of reference from scholars with recognized expertise relative to the proposed theme, attesting to the value of the project and the competency of the team. Please direct them to submit their letters online using our Reference and Institutional Support Letters Submission Form found here.

9.  In cases where the home institutions of team members are providing collateral support, such as release time from teaching or appointment of a student research assistant, letters of support from appropriate academic officers at the home institution must be supplied. Please direct them to submit their letters online using our Reference and Institutional Support Letters Submission Form found here.

10. Complete the online application form by 11:59pm on February 18, 2019.

 

Selection criteria:  The following criteria will be used in evaluation of the proposals.

  • Scholarship clearly informed by a Christian perspective
  • Topic of interest to larger academy with potential to advance the visibility of Christian scholarship
  • Quality of project conceptualization
  • Quality of project plan, including timeline and budget
  • Team expertise and background for this project
  • Preparedness of team
  • Advantages of networking
  • Likelihood of significant dissemination beyond Christian circles
  • Evidence of strong network base for project

Application and Reference Submission Forms

Selection Committee

Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda 
Director for the Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement
& Professor of Political Science
Nyack College, Seminary and Graduate Schools
New York, NY

Joel Carpenter
Director, Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity
Calvin College
Grand Rapids, MI

Kaye Cook
Professor of Psychology, Chair, Department of Psychology, and Director for the Center for Evangelicalism and Culture
Gordon College
Wenham, MA

Gwen Ladd Hackler
Director, Academic Grants Office
Professor of English
Southern Nazarene University
Bethany, OK

Russell Howell
Kathleen Smith Professor of Mathematics
Westmont College
Santa Barbara, CA

Rick Ostrander, Director and Chair
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professional Programs
CCCU
Washington, DC

Raymond VanArragon
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Bethel University
St. Paul, MN

Past Grant Recipients

Planning Grants

 

The Music of Social Protest: An Intersection of Politics and Faith in Latin America

Nestor Quiroa
Project Director
Associate Professor of Spanish
Wheaton College, IL

Wilfredo Canales
Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Culture
Department of Modern Languages
Olivet Nazarene University, IL

Lindy Scott
Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies
Whitworth University, WA

Gretchen Abernathy
Translator and Editor
Freelance Consultant

Abstract
“These songs are sung today, they were sung yesterday. They will be sung forever.” With this proclamation Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan Nobel Laureate in Literature, expressed his admiration for the first collection of Latin American social protest songs, compiled by the Italian Meri Franco-Lao in 1968. Asturias’ prophetic statement reveals the significance of this musical genre in the history and culture of Latin America. Nevertheless, Latin American social protest music has not received the attention from the academic world in the United States that it deserves. We believe that this neglect is due to two main reasons. The secular academic might feel awkward or ill-prepared to address the faith elements alluded to in most of these songs. The religious academician might feel that the songs’ themes of exile, justice, freedom, and shalom are too “liberationist” or revolutionary for Christian students accustomed to a more “feel-good” faith. This project responds to this academic reticence by situating Latin American social protest songs in their historical, social, and religious contexts as well as exploring the themes that emerge in light of biblical teaching.

 

Creative Dance to Foster Resilience in K-12 At-Risk Youth

Emily Wright
Project Director
Associate Professor of Dance
Belhaven University, MS

Sally Schwer Canning
Professor of Psychology
Wheaton College, IL

Merry Lynn Morris
Assistant Director of Dance Program
University of South Florida, FL

Laura Morton
Associate Professor of Dance
Belhaven University, MS

Bradford Smith
Director, Institute for International Care and Counsel Belhaven University, MS

Abstract
Considerable evidence supports a link between adverse childhood experiences and long-term negative outcomes (Taylor, Way, and Seeman, 2011), yet, not all children and adolescents who experience chronic stressors develop problems due to what is termed resilience (McLaughlin, K. and Lambert, H., 2017). Recent research from the National Organization of Arts in Health demonstrates that creative arts therapies contribute to resilience in diverse populations (Lambert, Betts, Rollins, Sonke & Swanson, 2017). This project seeks to cultivate resilience through a creative dance intervention by: (1) developing a workshop model that investigates the resilience-building potential of creative dance for K-12 at-risk youth in the Stewpot Community Services After-school program in Jackson, Mississippi; and (2) utilizing methodological approaches that further contribute to resilience by employing a research design that situates participants as co-researchers and cultivates skills in cooperation, empowerment, agency, creativity, relationship-building, and community development through a collaborative dance-making project. The core activity of the planning stage is the gathering of the research team in Jackson for a shared experience of relationship development and learning with Stewpot Community Services staff and West Jackson community members. This workshop model could provide a framework for developing effective, low cost, and scalable approaches for other contexts.

 

Initiative Grants

 

Reexamining Evangelical Populism and Evangelical Internationalism

Kevin den Dulk
Project Director
Professor of Political Science
Calvin College, MI

Robert Joustra
Associate Professor of Politics & International Studies
Redeemer University College, Ontario, Canada

Dennis Hoover Editor (political science)
The Review of Faith & International Affairs

Abstract
In contemporary scholarship and popular discourse two starkly different narratives are common regarding the role of evangelical Protestant Christianity in American global engagement generally and U.S. foreign policy specifically: evangelical populism versus evangelical internationalism. The former narrative pictures evangelicalism, especially in its various fundamentalist and charismatic expressions, as comprising the bedrock religious constituency for right-wing populism and associated ideologies of nationalism and nativism. The latter narrative asserts a growing trend of “new internationalism” among many evangelical leaders and institutions, especially over matters of religious liberty, humanitarian aid, immigration, and global health. Despite the prominence of these conflicting narratives, however, we know relatively little about their intersections, breadth of acceptance, and current and future trend lines. There is a need for empirical research to better measure and estimate the extent to which contemporary American evangelicalism actually fits either (or both) of these narratives, as well as evangelical approaches to world affairs that fit neither of the narratives. Too often the lack of nuanced and fine-grained research enables simplistic paradigms and misleading characterizations to go unchallenged, both within academia and in policy and media discourse more broadly. Deepening and clarifying our assumptions about evangelical international engagement is particularly important in this moment of great normative debate over the political role of evangelicals—a debate that often focuses on domestic policy and politics and neglects the complexity of faith in international affairs. This project will address these needs for empirical research through a series of convenings and publications bringing together leading scholars from multiple institutions (within the CCCU and broader networks) and from multiple disciplines. The principal methodologies that will be employed in this collaborative scholarship are (1) historical analysis, (2) survey data analysis, (3) media studies, and (4) interest group and party organization studies. The consortium of scholars will build on existing research and fill gaps, with particular emphasis on research approaches that integrate studies of both leadership and laity within evangelicalism. Through a series of articles in two separate journals with wide readerships, both in the scholarly guild and among attentive practitioners, we hope to engage scholars and political professionals, Christian and non-Christian alike, over the research findings.

 

Shaping Citizenship: Christian Institutions and Youth in Africa

Megan Hershey
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Whitworth University, WA

Tracy Kuperus
Project Director
Professor and Director
International Development Studies Program
Calvin College, MI

Amy Patterson
Professor
Department of Politics
Sewanee University of the South, TN

Abstract
This project explores the relationship between Christian institutions and youth citizenship in Africa. African youth, comprising over 30 percent of the continent’s population, face a precarious socioeconomic environment with high levels of poverty, yet they also constitute a growing number of African Christians and a key political group. We analyze Christian institutions such as ecumenical bodies, para-church organizations, and faith-based organizations across denominational lines. Defining citizenship as actions (e.g., voting and volunteering) and norms that promote those actions (e.g., responsibility and reciprocity), we address three significant questions: (1) How do Christian institutions shape citizenship norms and behaviors among African youth? (2) How do Christian institutions prioritize citizenship norms and behaviors, depending on gender? (3) How do these Christian efforts influence how youth themselves understand citizenship and act on that understanding?

Both the literature on African politics and religion and the scholarship on African youth have ignored these questions. Our project addresses this omission through its comparative analysis of countries that all have Christian majorities, but varying levels of democratic governance: South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. Recognizing youth as a heterogenous group, we adopt a multimethod approach to examine the complexities of gender, nationality, and citizenship. In 2018, we will statistically analyze Afrobarometer data on religiosity and youth political engagement to generate broad findings. In 2019, each scholar will travel to a different country to interview national church officials about youth and citizenship and to conduct a case study of a faith-based organization that trains youth on citizenship. The case studies will include a pre- and post-training questionnaire, participant observation, and focus group discussions with participants, segregated by gender. To deepen the analysis, and to isolate the effects of the trainings, we will also conduct focus group discussions with youth who have not participated in these trainings.

The project reflects the belief that Christian institutions have the potential to foster good governance and promote human flourishing, and our work will inform Christian efforts in these areas. Our attention to the voices of Christian youth will innovatively enhance knowledge on the complexities of religion and politics in Africa.

 

 

Supplemental Grant

 

Multi-institutional Campus Safety and Preventing Misconduct Project

Nathan Tintle
Project Director
Professor of Statistics
Dordt College, IA

Kristin Van De Griend
Adjunct instructor of Social Work; Research Associate
Dordt College, IA

James R. Vanderwoerd
Professor of Social Work
Redeemer University College, Ontario, Canada

Abstract
Recently, a study conducted in Canadian Christian colleges revealed that more than 20% of female students had experienced sexual violence in the previous 12 months, numbers in line with national surveys of secular colleges and universities which claim that as many as one in four women will survive a completed or attempted rape while in college. Intimate partner, including dating violence, and sexual violence have numerous adverse consequences on well-being, including education, employment, and long-term psychological well-being. Evidence shows that violence prevention education programs can reduce the incidence of sexual violence. To be most effective, prevention programs need to be multi-level and be created by experts in multiple disciplines. A majority of prevention programs are secular programs that may have less efficacy on Christian campuses than one created with a Christian framework. The aims of this project are to 1) better understand, through survey validation, the experiences and prevalence of sexual misconduct and harassment, dating violence, and stalking on college campuses; 2) examine the approaches used by Christian faculty and staff to uniquely and compassionately respond in these situations; and 3) develop a pilot, multi-level violence prevention program that builds on the unique Christian approaches already taken in order to better address campus safety and misconduct on our campuses, in a scalable and quantitatively effective manner that is relevant for both Christian and non-Christian campuses alike.

Planning Grants

 

Religious Communities as a Social Support Source for Children and Families Experiencing Stressful Life Events

Robert Crosby
Project Director
Assistant Professor of Psychology,
Online and Professional Studies
California Baptist University

Erin Smith
Assistant Professor of Psychology
California Baptist University

Leon Blanchette
Chair of Christian Ministries
Olivet Nazarene University

Gregory Palardy
Associate Professor of Education
University of California

Abstract
Social support is crucial to the well-being of children because it mitigates the negative effects of stressful life events. Children’s social support research generally focuses on support received at home and in school, but many children do not receive support from these conventional sources. Given the enduring presence of religion in the USA, some authors suggest that religious communities, such as churches, are a potential source of social support for children and families. However, this line of research is relatively new and still somewhat limited in scope and impact. The purpose of this study is to build on this growing body of research to (1) determine whether churches are a viable and significant source of social support to children and families and (2) to identify the characteristics of churches that are most supportive. The sample will consist of school-aged children, their parents, and the children’s church program leaders in 30 diverse churches. Using a multi-level modeling approach, we will determine the church-level variables most strongly associated children and parents’ supportive experiences. In addition to contributing to the social development literature, the findings will inform practice for those seeking to identify and foster supportive social networks for children in stressful situations.

 

Effectiveness of Approaches to Exposing Engineering Students to Service

Michael Foster
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
George Fox University

Gary Spivey
Professor of Electrical Engineering
George Fox University

Justin Vander Werff
Associate Professor of Engineering
Dordt College

Gayle Ermer
Professor of Engineering
Calvin College

Brian Swartz
Associate Professor of Engineering
Messiah College

Norman Reese
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology
LeTourneau University

William Jordan
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Baylor University

Abstract
Service is a key area of praxis for the Christian faith, and the engineering programs in the CCCU have taken a variety of approaches to expose students to service through engineering. This grant will support the examination of the effectiveness of several approaches. This research will identify effective strategies for teaching engineering with a service-oriented pedagogy. Several approaches are already in use, but their impact has not been carefully studied. An intentional planning process is needed to develop sound assessment practices to compare learning gains made across several institutions that employ different educational strategies. A small scale pilot study conducted at one institution relied primarily on student survey results. Those survey will need to be generalized for use across multiple institutions and re-validated. Once the data is obtained, the grant writers will partner with undergraduate students to analyze the results and draw conclusions. The outcomes will provide each participating institution with insight into their own programs. In addition, the partnership across multiple institutions facilitates idea sharing and improved strategies for each involved.

 

Christianity, Youth, and Democratic Citizenship in Africa

Tracy Kuperus
Project Director
Professor
Calvin College

Megan Hershey
Assistant Professor
Whitworth University

Amy Patterson
Carl Biehl Professor of International Affairs
University of the South

Abstract
This project investigates the role of Christian organizations in fostering citizenship among African youth. Despite the advance of democratization in Africa since the 1990s, the sub-Saharan region demonstrates few instances of genuine liberal democracy. Indeed, many scholars are concerned about democracy’s stagnation since the mid-2000s. This struggle for democratic consolidation at least partially reflects the underdevelopment of a robust citizenship in Africa, where citizens have been relatively unwilling to participate in politics and to hold government accountable. In Africa’s increasingly undemocratic environment, youth have the potential to engage in civil unrest or to advance the continent’s democratic project. As a distinct and recognizable group in African politics and religious organizations, youth are crucial for the development of democratic citizenship, peaceful mobilization, socioeconomic development, and African Christianity. Through research with Christian organizations that work with youth on citizenship activities in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Zambia, we will investigate how religion may affect citizenship among young people. Using interviews, focus group discussions, participant observations, and survey data, we will explore how Christian organizations define citizenship, why they design citizenship projects for youth (if they do), and how these efforts shape young people’s citizenship attitudes and behaviors.

 

Initiative Grants

 

South Asian Christianity in Transition: Identity, Theological Education, and the Plight of the Marginal

Chandra Mallampalli
Project Director
Professor of History
Westmont College

Dr Dyron Daughrity
Professor of Religion
Pepperdine University

Abstract
In recent decades, developments in global Christianity have attracted increased scholarly attention. An important but often overlooked dimension of this scholarship is South Asian Christianity. Religious transformations among Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan Christians present critical insights concerning religious identities, the plight of marginal peoples and responses of theological education. By bringing these topics into dialogue with literature on global Christianity, this project will enhance our understanding of this vital dimension of the global church, while engaging in fruitful comparative analysis with other regional studies.

Our research project examines three distinct but related aspects of the church in South Asia: first, the heated debate over religious conversion; second, the response of theological education to changing economic and socio-political contexts; and third, the predominant role of marginal groups – specifically Dalit (outcaste) and Tribal communities in southern, central, and North East India. The goals of the study are to a) produce two scholarly monographs relating to South Asian Christianity, b) host an international workshop on religious conversion at a participating CCCU college with an aim to publish the proceedings as an edited volume, and c) establish mutually enriching ties between CCCU affiliated institutions in the United States and institutions of higher learning—both Christian and secular—in South Asia. As well-established scholars of history and religious studies (with strong records of research and publication on South Asian Christianity), the team members of this project, Chandra Mallampalli of Westmont College and Dyron Daughrity of Pepperdine University will bring interdisciplinary approaches to the project’s key areas of study.

At the heart of this initiative are Christian practices tied to the mission of the gospel in South Asia and empathy for the persecuted Christians there. We seek to cultivate supportive and encouraging bonds of Christian fellowship with South Asian Christians who are facing hostility and increased marginalization, particularly within the present climate of Hindu nationalism. By nurturing ties with theological institutions in South Asia, we intend to offer our support and expertise to those seeking to connect with scholars on the outside. Their stories, in turn, will enrich our understanding of the lived experiences of fellow believers, and inform the scholarship we will produce for the broader academy. By advancing research on the topics addressed in this proposal, we hope to stimulate new avenues for advocacy and support for Christians living in times of persecution and duress.

 

Informed compassion: how faith shapes decisions in Christian relief

Michael Veatch
Project Director
Professor of Mathematics
Gordon College

Danilo Dierdichs
Assistant professor of Mathematics
Wheaton College

Paul Isihara
Assistant professor of Mathematics
Wheaton College

Jarrod Goentzel
Director, MIT Humanitarian Response Lab
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract
Faith-based organizations (FBOs) play an increasing role in responding to humanitarian crises. While FBO involvement has been scrutinized, this study asks the unique question of how Christian perspectives influence the planning and implementation of disaster relief. With the increased sophistication of humanitarian relief efforts, it is timely to ask how FBOs compare with other organizations in their shared mission of delivering relief, and where FBOs can make unique contributions.

Response to a major disaster involves rapid movement of people and supplies. The logistics (procurement and transport of goods) can easily be 80% of the total expenditures. The response takes place in a challenging environment, with limited resources, life and death decisions, uncertainty about needs, and limited or damaged infrastructure. Our thesis is that the decisions made by Christian organizations about how they respond to a crisis can, and should, be affected by their unique values. We consider two levels of decision-making. At a higher level, FBOs must establish resource allocation goals involving categories, populations and locations. Then, detailed decisions turn goals into the movement of resources through the supply chain to the beneficiaries. Both of these involve tradeoffs, and the tradeoffs made reflect values.

A quantitative approach will be taken to measure the preferences of FBOs for different outcomes and to model how these values lead to decisions in the process of disaster response. A comparison with other organizations will also be undertaken. First, logisticians at these organizations will be surveyed about their detailed logistics decisions and organizational values. To demonstrate how these values can shape a response, a model will be developed for a large FBO that incorporates their values to optimize a logistical response. Second, conjoint analysis will assess the preferences of FBO decision-makers, including the higher level of resource allocation. These preferences will then be used in a decision analysis to illustrate how a second NGO’s resource allocation decisions can incorporates these preferences. A framework will be developed describing the decisions and potential outcomes. Both studies will seek to demonstrate how distinctive Christian values are incorporated in their decisions and how their planning could be better aligned with their organizational values. To focus our study, we consider U.S.-based Christian FBOs responding to a disaster with significant logistics.

Planning Grants

Hope in the Face of Climate Change

Patricia Bruininks
Project Director
Associate Professor of Psychology
Whitworth University

Randy Haluza-DeLay
Associate Professor of Sociology
The King’s University

Charlotte VanOyen-Witvliet
Professor of Psychology
Hope College

Leanne Wilson
Associate Professor of Psychology
The King’s University

Abstract

Decelerating, halting, or even repairing environmental destruction is dependent on changes made at both the individual and institutional level; therefore, understanding how people maintain hope for themselves and future generations in the face of ecological apocalypse is critical. Thus, as informed by psychology and sociology, we seek to explore the following questions: (1) How do people respond when they encounter news reports about climate instability?  (2) How do religious identities affect hope for ecological well-being at personal, collective, and societal levels? and (3) What are the ways that eschatological hope relates to earthly hope for ecological well-being, and how do earthly and eschatological hope affect the emotions and actions of individuals as they relate to society, future generations, or the earth itself? We propose to answer these questions by examining participants’ engagement with and beliefs about climate change, their temporal hope for earthly outcomes, and their eschatological hope via survey measures.  Our goals are to bridge the gap between our disciplines’ conceptualizations of hope and advance knowledge regarding psychological and sociological responses to climate change.  This will potentially lead to interventions for maintaining engagement in and action toward restoring God’s creation.

Informed Compassion: the Interplay of Faith Perspectives and Humanitarian Logistics

Michael Veatch
Project Director
Professor of Mathematics
Gordon College

Jarrod Goentzel
Director, MIT Humanitarian Response Lab
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Paul Isihara
Professor of Mathematics
Wheaton College

Abstract

Relief operations have grown in number, size, and complexity. There is an increased reliance on faith-based organizations (FBOs), as seen in expanded governmental funding and widened collaboration with secular organizations. While the motivations of FBOs have been examined from many perspectives, and longer-term development is recognized as thoroughly values-based and supporting different agendas, how to respond to a disaster may be viewed as a technical issue.  Our thesis is that the decisions made in planning and implementing disaster relief projects reflect many values, some of which depend on faith/secular perspectives. Can FBOs and secular organizations benefit by learning more about the other’s operational methods, or are they fundamentally different and inseparable from convictions? An evaluative framework will be created, interviews conducted, and policy statements reviewed to identify areas where faith perspectives appear linked to differences in operations. Theological justifications for these differences will be sought, both from practitioners and through our evangelical tradition. The project is unique in that it asks how faith may encourage, inform or restrict the use of quantitative methods which seek to optimize the goals, decision process and support tools used by relief organizations.

Christian Ecumenical Cooperation and Church-and Nation-Building in Post-Soviet Europe

Telford Work
Project Director
Professor of Theology
Westmont College

Scott Neumann
Director, Program of International Relations and Development
LCC International University

Thomas Boone
Associate Professor of Theology
LCC International University

Oleh Kindiy
Assistant Dean for International Relations
Faculty of Philosophy/Theology
Ukrainian Catholic University

Roman Soloviy
Senior research fellow, Сenter of the Studies of Religion
National Pedagogical Dragomanov University

Abstract

This project will explore the results of Christian inter-institutional cooperation, especially across denominational lines, for both nation-building and church-building in post-Soviet European contexts. A spirit of positive regard and cooperation has been growing in post-Soviet Europe among Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Orthodox, evangelical, and Pentecostal Christians. Our team’s interest is in studying the effects of specific efforts and attitudes toward cooperation on post-Soviet political nation-building, and how these compare with less ecumenical Russian Orthodox approaches. Rival perspectives on practice, ecclesiology, ministry, and social ethics limit what Christians can do together. Yet in an extraordinary situation, Christian cooperation and practice can break new ground (such as communion and penance offered to non-Catholics during the Maidan protest). Events since 2014 have confirmed to audiences worldwide that this region is critically important and post-Soviet nations are eager to learn strategies and outcomes of such efforts.

Initiative Grants

The Impact of Religiosity and Spirituality Among Members of the Adoptive Kinship Network
[Note: This proposal won a 2015 Planning Grant award.]

Elisha Marr
Project Director
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Calvin College

Emily Helder
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Calvin College

Gretchen Miller Wrobel
Project Director
Professor of Psychology
Bethel University

Harold D. Grotevant
Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

The adoptive kinship network (including the birth family, the adopted individual, and the adoptive family) is formed and continues to change over time in response to a variety of factors.  This project examines the role of religious motivation to adopt and the use of religious or spiritual themes to provide meaning to the adoptive experience. The impact of these motivations on later adjustment for members of the network will be examined in the context of multiple adoption types, both international and domestic.

Very little systematic research exists on this topic, though there is increased interest in the academy on the impact of religiosity in family life general. Through using two existing longitudinal data sets (Calvin Adoption Study and Minnesota-Texas Adoption Research Project) and a nationally representative data set (National Survey of Family Growth), the project team will advance the understanding of the role of religiosity and spirituality in adoption for both academic and lay audiences. Team members will make presentations at conferences designed for researchers and practitioners/adoptive families, submit manuscripts to scholarly journals, and develop a book proposal geared toward a wider audience. The project has the potential to contribute to a better understanding of the role that churches can play in adoption, by identifying protective factors and mitigating risk factors for adoption professionals, and in understanding the way that religion intersects with family life.

Christian Meaning-Making, Suffering and the Flourishing Life

Elizabeth Allen Hall
Project Director
Professor of Psychology
Biola University

Jamie Aten
Rech Endowed Chair
Associate Professor of Psychology
Wheaton College

Eric Silverman
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Christopher Newport University

Jason McMartin
Associate Professor of Theology
Biola University

Abstract

This project examines Christian meaning-making and flourishing in the context of suffering.  Our main hypothesis is that the specific religious content of meaning-making in response to suffering is related to differential outcomes with respect to human flourishing. Meaning-making holds a privileged position in the new and growing area of positive psychology because of its connection to well-being, the central notion of positive psychology according to its founder, Martin Seligman (2011).  In Seligman’s conceptualization, well-being consists of five measurable elements:  positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose, and accomplishment. While meaning-making is central to well-being in general, its importance is most clearly seen in the context of human suffering.  The presence of suffering reliably distinguishes between eudaimonic and hedonic versions of well-being, largely because of the meaning-making that occurs in the context of coping with suffering.

Meaning-making in suffering has been studied for decades under various names, including adversarial growth, benefit-finding, stress-related growth, and post-traumatic growth. Much of this research has focused on the importance of religious variables in facilitating meaning-making, given that religions are the most comprehensive meaning-making systems available.  While meaning-making in suffering has been studied for decades, these approaches have been hampered by their attempts to avoid value-laden topics such as the theological content of religions. This is unfortunate, given the promise and potential clinical relevance of an investigation of beliefs.

This project is the first part of a larger mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative) study, which will examine three central questions: (a) What kinds of theological resources do people undergoing suffering bring to bear on their meaning-making process?  Are these limited to questions regarding theodicy, or are they (as we suspect) broader in scope?  How do their theological resources influence their conception of the good life?; (b) What outcomes relevant to human flourishing are associated with different kinds of theological meaning-making?; and (c) Does the theological content of meaning-making add predictive validity to flourishing outcomes above and beyond those of already-identified aspects of religiosity relevant to outcomes (e.g., religious coping, intrinsic spirituality)? This research has the potential to impact the larger academy by suggesting new avenues of study for researchers in post-traumatic growth, deepening an understanding of the role of meaning-making in human flourishing, demonstrating the promise of studying specific religious beliefs in the psychology of religion, and contributing to the development of diversity-sensitive approaches in the applied areas of psychology.

Planning Grants

The Role of Religiosity in the Motivation to Adopt

Gretchen Miller Wrobel
Project Director
Professor of Psychology
Bethel University

Harold D. Grotevant
Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Emily Helder
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Calvin College

Elisha Marr
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Calvin College

Abstract:

Adoption is a prevalent complex family form in the United States and provides permanent families for children who cannot be parented by birth relatives. Understanding the motivation to adopt has important practical applications for families adopting a child, birth parents placing a child and agencies facilitating adoption. The purpose of this planning grant is to use a multidisciplinary lens to explore how religiosity impacts the motivation to adopt a child. As such, a primary aim of the planning grant is to provide time and multidisciplinary expertise to consider how three important data sets (Calvin Adoption Project,Minnesota-Texas Adoption Project, National Survey of Adoptive Parents) work together to address the motivation to adopt a child. The use of existing, major data sets will provide an efficient means for addressing the issue.

Religion without Shakespeare: Staging Faith in Early Modern, Non-Shakespearean Drama

Matthew J. Smith
Project Director
Assistant Professor of English
Azusa Pacific University

Brett Foster
Associate Professor of English
Wheaton College

Clare Costley King’oo
Associate Professor of English
University of Connecticut at Storrs

Abstract

The study of Renaissance religion and drama remains biased by Shakespeare’s unrivaled canonical identity. Furthermore, scholars often view scenes of religious import in works by contemporaneous dramatists as messy, conventional, or pragmatic. “Religion without Shakespeare” seeks to focus purposefully on religion in the works of non-Shakespearean Renaissance plays and yet also to bring such readings to bear on the predominant criticism of Shakespeare and religion—both challenging and advancing it. “Religion without Shakespeare” proposes a long-term conversation among leading scholars in religion and early modern drama studies that questions the secularization thesis that pervades Shakespeare studies and that advances our understanding of the relations between religious and play going culture by focusing on important non-Shakespearean early modern dramatists.

Initiative Grants

Evangelical Protestantism and Social Change in 21st Century Brazil

Eric Miller
Project Director
Professor of History and the Humanities
Geneva College

Andy Draycott
Associate Professor of Theology and Christian Ethics
Biola University

Alexandre Brasil Fonseca
Professor of Sociology
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Daniela Sanches Fronzi
Research Associate, Department of Social and Applied Nutrition
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Ronald Morgan
Professor of History
Abilene Christian University

Gustavo Gilson S. de Oliveira
Professor Sociology at the Center of Education
Universidade Ferderal de Pernambuco

Abstract

The rapid rise of evangelical Protestantism throughout the global south has begun to attract attention not only on the ground, but also in the academy. Somewhat belatedly, scholars across the disciplines are attempting to understand the social, cultural, and political significance of these historic shifts. Our project exists within this nexus of academic ferment with a particular focus on Brazil, now both the world’s largest Roman Catholic and Pentecostal country. The number of evangelical Protestants in Brazil is believed to be second only to the United States.

The team members for this project are writing a book that will lay out a narrative framework of the history and rise of evangelical Protestantism in Brazil. It will also include multi-disciplinary assessments of contemporary Brazilian evangelicalism based partly on participant-observer analysis. The book’s particular focus will be on the social and political dimensions of Brazilian evangelicalism. The team members will also create a scholarly alliance of Brazilian and CCCU-centered scholars who, while writing the book, will also work to strengthen organizational structures for ongoing collaboration

Soprani Compagni: Portraits of Women in Contemporary Soprano Duet

Lisa Dawson
Project Co-Director
Professor of Music, Voice and Opera Studies
Indiana Wesleyan University

Tammie Huntington
Project Co-Director
Associate Professor of Music, Voice and Opera Studies
Indiana Wesleyan University

Phoenix Park-Kim
Project Co-Director
Professor of Music, Piano Performance Studies
Indiana Wesleyan University

Jesse Ayers
Professor of Music
Malone University

Robert Denham
Associate Professor Theory and Composition
Biola University

David Fuentes
Professor of Composition and Theory
Calvin College

Leanna Kirchoff
Instructor of Composition
University of Denver

Todd Syswerda
Professor of Music, Composition Studies
Indiana Wesleyan University

Abstract:

The soprano voice is the most common classification among singers, often producing an intense rivalry when competing for roles and positions. One of the ways in which this conundrum may be addressed is through collaboration among sopranos using duet literature within the vocal studio and onstage. However, duets written specifically for two sopranos are very rare and difficult to locate. The ensemble Soprani Compagni was formed in 2010 for the express purpose of researching, compiling, and performing art songs, oratorio, and opera written specifically for two soprano voices; to model the art of collaboration between sopranos; and to commission new works for soprano duet.

In this initiative, Soprani Compagni will commission works that emphasize significant women and their many varied and valuable contributions to our society, during Biblical times and beyond. Soprano repertoire often depicts limited portraits of women, themed around love for her man, external beauty and unfulfilled dreams. This initiative will result in an expansion of soprano duet repertoire with messages of encouragement for more women to embrace their true worth, value, and calling by bringing to light contributions of women in our society through performances by women and about women, connecting our hearts and lives across generations.

The duet recording and anthology will be disseminated through performances at collaborating composers’ universities throughout the country and abroad.

Supplemental Grant

A Living Presence: Reinvigorating the Music of Georg Philipp Telemann in Service to Liturgy and Life

Michael D. Shasberger
Project Director
Adams Professor of Music and Worship
Westmont College

Trey Farrell
Adjunct Professor of Music
Westmont College

Trevor Handy
Adjunct Professor of Music
Westmont CollegeHan Soo Kim
Assistant Professor of Music
Westmont College

Susan Kim
Assistant Professor of Music
Gordon College

Sarita Kwok
Associate Professor of Music
Gordon College

Cindy Lindeen-Martin
Minister of Music and Organist
Augustana Lutheran Church of Denver

Abstract This project will bring to the public recently published Telemann cantatas, and instrumental music that will compliment and contrast with the cantatas, in order to enliven contemporary worshipping communities and performance audiences with the music and witness of Georg Philipp Telemann, an under-represented baroque master. The ensemble, consisting of string quartet, oboe, keyboard (harpsichord or organ) and vocalist, will perform in a variety of concert, school, and liturgical settings and will also sponsor educational programs including lecture demonstrations and school outreach events.

Bringing to life the cantatas of Georg Phillip Telemann that have only recently been published in modern performance editions is an important link to the performance practice of 17th – 18thcentury, the liturgical life of the Reformation period, and the theology of the era. Particular emphasis will be placed on the cantatas from the “Engle Jahrgang” (Angel Cycle) that were likely written for the city of Frankfurt late in Telemann’s life. Telemann, who is frequently overshadowed by his contemporaries Bach and Handel, was in many ways more highly regarded in his own time than those masters. This project will bring some of his least known, but most wonderfully crafted work to light in performance, liturgical, and lecture settings.

Planning Grants

Christian Voices in Musicology

Timothy H. Steele
Project Director
Associate Professor of Music
Calvin College

Johann Buis
Professor of Music
Wheaton College

Stanley Pelkey
Assistant Professor of Music
Western Michigan University

Abstract

There is a significant need for Christian music scholars to address issues raised by major reorientation in the discipline of musicology since the 1980s: what music counts for study, analysis and critical reflection, and what place has the particular identity of the musicologist in her orientation to research and in the shaping of critical observations and theoretical frameworks.  The members of the planning team propose to initiate a research project that will engage in path-breaking work on these core questions of the discipline.  Varied approaches to this task have already been discussed among the team members, including a thematic approach that would address specific issues and motivate particular research projects.  Suggested themes include the formation of musical identity, the nature of musical meaning, the relationship of music to recent critical thought about human embodiment, and human creativity in the midst of relationship and community.  Questions to be asked include, “What musicological work might be prompted by Christian concern for social justice?” and “How ought musicologists to confront the problem of evil?”  As scholars with deep Christian convictions, we intend to explore these themes and others as ways of interacting with and responding to the assumptions that have shaped musicology over the last twenty years, recognizing that although music has been the subject of much Christian thinking there is no clear framework or set of scholarly agendas for Christian musicologists.  Our proposal for this planning grant is to create the context within which we can explore various perspectives and achieve a clear focus for the extended research project we will propose following the planning period.  We anticipate meeting on two occasions for intensive discussion of the project and for refinement of the Initiative Grant proposal.  These meetings will take place in the early summer and autumn of 2008.  We envision the larger project for which this it the planning stage to result in a book of essays and conference presentations by members of the project team and additional contributors.

Towards a Christian Conception of the State’s Role in Creation Care

John L. Hiemstra
Project Director
Professor of Political Science
The King’s University College

John R. Wood
Academic Dean
Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies
Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
The King’s University College

Jonathan P. Chaplin
Director
Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, Tyndale House, Cambridge

Abstract

Contemporary environmental crises are sending churches and Christian NGOs to the Christian scholarly community for guidance on, and understanding of, the state’s role in creation care.  Many Christian traditions address issues of faith and politics, but have done little sustained reflection on the nature of the state’s and government’s role in society.  When addressing environmental questions, they often utilize ethical approaches that give little direction on the distinctive task of the state in creation care.  Roman Catholic and Reformed traditions have produced in-depth philosophical reflection on the state’s role but little directly on the state’s role in creation care.  Furthermore, many mainstream secular approaches to the state’s role on the environment no longer seem to work, for example, the environmental movements’ failure to achieve significant governmental action on global warming.  Critics attribute this failure in part to the underlying Enlightenment liberal assumptions of the dominant view of government.  The Christian communities with traditions of reflecting on the state’s role are in an excellent position to contribute to the renewal and deepening of faith-based and mainstream reflection on the state’s role in creation care.  This is so precisely because they have the experience and approaches required to engage the deeper religious and philosophical roots of these questions as well as theories that acknowledge the complex, plural structure of society.  Our research network will make an interdisciplinary contribution to the development of a Christian framework for understanding the state’s role in creation care.

American Pentecostalism’s Engagement with Race and Ethnicity: Historical Realities and Theological Perspectives

Dr. Arlene M. Sanchez Walsh
Project Director
Associate Professor, Haggard School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University

Dr. Paul Alexander
Professor of Theology and Ethics
Asuza Pacific University

Dr. Anthea Butler
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
University of Rochester

Abstract

As Pentecostalism enters its 2nd American century, one of its critical issues will be how it continues to function as a multicultural entity.  The purpose of this planning group is to grapple with the historical and theological issues embedded in the overarching theme.  The eventual outcome of this planning group’s work will be to collaborate with interested clergy and other academics in producing work relevant to local churches as it will challenge the historiographical trend in American Pentecostal history that suggests that racial inclusion evident in the early years of the movement was evidence of a sustained effort towards racial equality.

This collaboration will lay the groundwork for producing work relevant to the local church and denominations presented by our clergy.  We also hope to provide proscriptive solutions to help American Pentecostalism manage the inevitable demographic shift to help dominant white majority movement to a movement coming closer to demographic parity.  We want to argue that the current problems of race/ ethnicity in Pentecostalism are traceable to the very roots of the movement.  We also want to break with the black/ white dichotomy that has marked much of the debate and acknowledge that issues of race/ ethnicity in American Pentecostalism are not simply products of a white dominant culture suppressing people of color, but in fact, of people of color often suppressing each other, especially in the late 20th and early 21st century urban centers where African Americans, Latinos, and Asians often compete for scarce goods, services, and compete in a complex religious marketplace.  As theologians, we want to offer a broader view of the ethical dimensions of personhood, of abuses of power and again bring the Pentecostal church to a reckoning with its multicultural realities and offer a suitable pneumatology for how the church can be truly multicultural and not just a gathering place for diverse peoples.

Initiative Grants

Christian Reasoning

Jens Zimmermann
Project Director
Professor of English and CRC Chair for Interpretation, Religion and Culture
Trinity Western University

Tony Cummins
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Trinity Western University

Matthew Levering
Associate Professor of Theology
Ave Maria University

Judith Toronchuk
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Chair, Research Ethics Board
Trinity Western University

Merold Westphal
Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
Fordham University

Holger Zaborowski
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Catholic University of America

Abstract

The project Christian Reasoning examines and seeks to substantiate the intrinsic role religion plays in human existence and public life.  In the current dispute whether religion is the problem or the solution to the most pressing global concerns such as terrorism, tribal wars, the social cohesion of Western societies, and the relation between religion and science, reflection on the nature of reason has emerged as the most fundamental issue.  In seeking to address this foundational problematic, the proposed research initiative pursues two distinct goals.

The first goal is to examine and show to what extent religion is constitutive for the very nature of human reason as such.  Despite a major shift away from scientific rationalism in academic circles, religion continues to be relegated by many to the private, even irrational sphere of human existence.  Against this lingering separation of faith and reason, our first research track focuses on the extent to which human perception, knowledge, understanding, and learning- in short, human reasoning- require the central religious elements of personal relation, tradition and belief.  The collaborative philosophical (phenomenological and hermeneutical), social, and empirical research seeks to answer this question in the affirmative by drawing mainly on the Christian tradition but also on different faith traditions (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism).

Assuming a defining role of religion for human reasoning and public life, the second goal of this project us to articulate a specifically Christian understanding of human reasoning in response to current fears that particular religious convictions should be excluded from public life because they inevitably result in conflict and violence.  Our research will address the seeming impasse between a recognition of the much publicized “return of religion” on the one hand, and a continuing public fear of religion as bigoted intolerance on the other.  More specifically, this research phase will examine:

  • The dependency of cultural and religious relativism (i.e. “all religions are the same”) on a rationalist view of truth and the need for a different approach to comparing and assessing particular religions
  • Compatibility of scientific and religious accounts of human rationality
  • The relationship between reason, identity, religion and culture
  • The importance of interpretation as intrinsic to any religion’s theological ability to separate church and state
  • The relationship between revelation and reason, including the role of sacred texts, tradition and interpretation in the mediation of divine revelation
  • The relationship between religious conceptions of law and reason.

Religious Worldview, Ego Identity, and Attachment: Necessary Strengths for Navigating the Challenges of Emerging Adulthood

Kaye V. Cook
Project Director
Professor, Psychology
Gordon College

Cynthia N. Kimball
Associate Professor, Psychology
Wheaton College

Kelly S. Flanagan
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Wheaton College

Kathleen C. Leonard
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development
Tufts University

Chris J. Boyatzis
Consultant
Associate Professor, Psychology
Bucknell University

Abstract

Emerging adulthood is a distinctive era of development.  Arnett (2000) has highlighted three areas of unique challenge during emerging adulthood, marked by changes in one’s worldview, sense of self, and relationships with others.  We will explore how strengths in these areas help individuals navigate the challenges that accompany a frequent and increasingly common transition of emerging adulthood: graduation from college.  Because Christian colleges self-consciously desire to graduate students with coherent religious worldviews that affect one’s entire life, and we can measure their religiosity, we focus on the worldview of those graduating from Christian colleges.  We believe that a stable worldview, a solid sense of self, and secure relationships with parents and others in the face of challenges best prepare emerging adults to manage the stresses of this uncertain time.  We hope to use this information to contribute to the larger literature on emerging adulthood and to help Christian colleges to nurture and strengthen the faith of their graduates.

The research will consist of two phases.  In Phase I, we will survey 60 graduating seniors and 60 two-year alumni from each of the two Christian colleges, for a total of 240 participants.  We will more extensively interview 20 graduating seniors and 20 two-year alumni from each context.  In Phase II, we will interview the same participants, using comparable measures, two years later.  We thus use cross-sequential analyses to allow us to draw conclusions about development and coping over a four-year period.  The data consists of surveys and open-ended questions designed to explore religiosity, sense of self, and relationships with others. Data will be examined by regression analyses using religiosity (intrinsic, extrinsic, quest, perceived similarity with the larger context, perceived faith support, and stability of belief), ego identity status, and attachment measures to predict to our outcome measures, as well as by ANOVA analyses of age differences in the same measures.  Outcome measures include participants’ total stress, perceived stress, balance between stress and coping methods, and satisfaction with life and faith.  Reponses to open-ended questions will be coded by qualitative analysis.

The project will result in several outcomes: multiple presentations, multiple research papers submitted for publication or in process, and a book proposal and accompanying request for added funding.  In developing the project, particularly since this group of faculty has never worked together, we will also need to convene several team meetings.

The Aelfric of Eynsham Project

Aaron Kleist
Project Director
Co-Chair Department of English
Biola University

Sexuality, Coping, and Moral Decision-Making in Christian Adolescents

Kevin Reimer
Project Director
Professor of Graduate Psychology
Azusa Pacific University

A Christian Theoretical Framing for the Concepts of Religion, Spirituality and Culture in Healthcare

Barbara Pesut
Project Director
Associate Professor and Chair of Nursing
Trinity Western University

Bart Cusveller
Associate Professor of Ethics and Nursing
School of Nursing, Christian University Ede (The Netherlands)

Marsha Fowler
Professor of Ethics and Spirituality
Azusa Pacific University

Elizabeth Johnston Taylor
Associate Professor of Nursing
Loma Linda University

Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham
Associate Professor of Nursing
Trinity Western University

Abstract:

The purpose of this proposed networking project is to establish a Christian theoretical framing for the concepts and intersections of religion, spirituality and culture with a healthcare context. Issues of spirituality and culture have gained increasing attention in the healthcare literature over the past two decades. However, with this attention has emerged an increasingly politicized debate about the nature of these concepts. Religion and spirituality in particular are being re-defined. Spirituality has become a universal, inherently good, individualized concept while religion has been relegated to external rituals and beliefs, a social product of culture. What has emerged is a healthcare discourse that has produced vague, contentless spirituality, and a marginalized understanding of religion.

The reframing of these concepts has implications far beyond ideological discourse in the healthcare literature. Practical assessment and intervention frameworks to address spirituality from this perspective are being created and applied within healthcare contexts. Likewise, research instruments created within these understandings are being used to construct a knowledge base upon which healthcare is being shaped. A whole new generation of clinical nurses will be affected by programs and courses in spiritual care based on concepts and methods not necessarily in accord with the Christian worldview. Scholars have suggested that this “new” spirituality, rather than doing justice to the diversity and richness of spiritual perspectives, is having the reverse effect of erasing distinctions and producing an unintended hegemony in healthcare.

It is important for Christian scholars to respond to this evolving discourse with a Christian theoretical framing of these concepts. We propose bringing together a group of scholars from Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands with significant expertise in spirituality, religion and culture from a healthcare perspective to create this framing. We will do this through a series of meetings where we will first construct the framework and then through a small pilot study seek feedback from the broader Christian academy. This preliminary framework will then be published, but more importantly, will form the theoretical lens for a collaborative research grant proposal for an integrative theoretical work that will explore and analyze these concepts more broadly from the healthcare literature, contrasting them to the Christian theoretical framing. The work of this group will be groundbreaking in that rather than adopting the common approach of focusing on either religion/spirituality or religion/culture, the intersections of all three concepts will be explored, an area of scholarship that is not well developed in the healthcare literature.

The Forgotten Founders on Church and State

Mark Hall
Project Director
Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Political Science
George Fox University

Daniel Dreisbach
Professor, Department of Justice, Law, and Society
American University

Jeffry Morrison
Associate Professor of Political Science
Regent University

Abstract:

Over the last decade political scientists and historians have come to recognize better the important relationship between religion and politics. With respect to the founding era, they have argued persuasively that religion was far more influential than many twentieth-century scholars understood. Books like Barry Alan Shain’s The Myth of American Individualism: Protestant Origins of American Political Thought have painted a broad picture of how religion impacted the political theory and practices of the founding generation.

By necessity, scholars like Shain paint with broad strokes. If the role of religion in the founding era is to be more fully understood, students of the era must study individual founders more carefully. To be sucessful, such an examination requires a combination of critical scrutiny and a willingness to take religion seriously. This combination has been too rare among students of the founding. Dreisback, Morrison, and I have each authored such articles and books, and in 2004 we co-edited a collection of essays on the subject entitled The Founders on God and Government.

The Founders on God and Government focused on well-known figures such as George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. We now propose to bring together a group of scholars to study less-well-known but still significant founders. We will ask each participant to present a paper on a forgotten founder’s view of the proper relationship between religion and politics at a conference to be held at George Fox University in the spring of 2007. Papers delivered at this conference, as well as two previously published essays and a few additional papers, will be edited by the three applicants and published as a book.

We believe that this volume will meet an even greater need than The Founders on God and Government. Although students of the era will recognize the names of most of the individuals that we intend to cover, in many cases they know little else about them. As well, many of our proposed papers/chapters will be original works- often the first extended treatement of the profiled founder’s religious convictions and views of church-state relations. Altogether the conference and edited volume will help expand the scope of the discussion about what the founders thought about religion’s place in public life-a conversation that often centers on just two or three individuals.

Good Book and Holy Land: Historical Perspectives on Anglo-American Christians’ Critical Engagement with the Bible and the Middle East

Stephen Alter
Project Director
Associate Professor of History
Gordon College

Thomas Kidd
Assistant Professor of History
Baylor University

Timothy Larsen
Associate Professor of Theology
Wheaton College

Sarah Miglio
Doctoral student, Department of History
Notre Dame University

Project Consultants:
Bruce Kuklick
Professor of History
University of Pennsylvania

David Livingstone
Professor of Geography
Queen’s University (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Abstract:

The past two centuries have seen steadily increasing interest on the part of British and American Christians in the Middle East. this interest, in turn, has influenced Christians’ self-perception. Critical Bible scholarship, Holy Land exploration, “Near Eastern” archaeology, foreign missions, and imperial diplomacy-these activities have raised the question of Christianity’s identity as a mainly western religion having its historical roots in a far-away region. Was the Land of the Book a source of ancient light and inspiration for modern Christians, or was it the site of Islamic “other,” a major challenge to Christianity as a world religion? This group of research projects has two foci: the history of Anglo-American Bible scholarship and of American perspectives on the Middle East and Islam. The common question is: How have Amerivan and victorian British Christian’s understanding of their faith and of biblical authority interacted with their perceptions of the Holy Land, its religions, and its on-going history?

Kant as Moral Realist: A New Interpretive Approach

Benjamin Lipscomb
Project Director
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Houghton College

Karl Ameriks
McMahon/Hank Professor of Philosophy
University of Notre Dame

John Hare
Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology
Yale University

Andrew Chignell
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Cornell University

Patrick Frierson
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Whitman College

Lee Hardy
Professor of Philosophy
Calvin College

Patrick Kain
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Purdue University

James Krueger
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
University of Redlands

Houston Smit
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
University of Arizona

Rachel Zuckert
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Rice University

Abstract:
The Current, most popular reading of Kant features a fundamentally anti-realist, constructivist understanding of his moral philosophy (the view being that we create our moral obligations through rational deliberation). This reading poses specific challenges for Christians who find aspects of the Kantian view attractive, for it appears to leave little role for God in the moral universe. A few scholars, however, have challenged this dominant interpretation, arguing instead for a realist interpretation of Kant’s practical philosophy. Though the arguments of these scholars have not always been overtly religious, it is significant that the most prominent scholars advancing a realist interpretation are Christians (including, notably, Karl Ameriks and John Hare).

The aim of this project is to gather together a number of scholars who are sympathetic to a realist interpretation of Kant, including Hare and Ameriks, to explore the extent of their shared commitments and the possibilities for building upon one another’s work. The interactions of the research team will take the form, first, of an intense, week-long workshop in August 2005, and then, the following April, a nationally advertised conference. The conviction of the research team is that discussions at the workshop and conference, and informally between, will assist them in articulating and refining a realist interpretation of Kant’s practical philosophy. Out of the workshop and conference, an edited volume will take shape, intended both to define this alternative (on its own terms and in contrast to anti-realist views) and to situate it within the broader discourse of ethical theory.

This project is of particular importance for Christians both because it will, if successful, bring to light and develop a rich source for Christian ethical reflection , and because the project will involve, in one of its dimensions, renewed attention to the relationship between Kant’s writings on religion and on ethics. Anti-realist readings of Kant have achieved the dominance they enjoy, in part, by bracketing or marginalizing Kant’s religious writings. In short, the aim of the project is to develop and refine an alternative to the dominant interpretation of Kant’s practical philosophy, and to bring this alternative to the attention of scholars both in Kant studies and in contemporary ethical theory, prompting new reflection and perhaps, new openness to a moral outlook common to Kant and much of the Christian tradition.

Saint Paul’s Secular Destinies: A Critical Engagement

Douglas K. Harink
Project Director
Associate Professor of Theology
The King’s University College

Alexandra R. Brown
Professor of Religion
Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA

Jeffrey Dudiak
Associate Professor of Philosophy
the King’s University College

Chris Huebner
Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics
Canadian Mennonite University

P. Travis Kroeker
Professor of Religion
McMaster University

Mark Reasoner
Associate Professor Biblical Studies
Bethel University

Gordon Zerbe
Associate Professor of New Testament
Canadian Mennonite University

Abstract:
The apostle Paul has recently become the subject of serious study by a number of important Continental philosophers, among them Jaboc Taubes, Stanislaus Breton, Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben and Slavoj Žižek. While these philosophers do not all share Paul’s theological convictions (although Breton is a Catholic philosopher; Taubes is Jewish), each finds in Paul’s mission and message something of critical, even constitutive, significance for the largely secular philosophies which they are developing. Paul is appropriated to address philosophical themes such as ontology, the ‘other,’ the ‘event,’ the nature of truth, the human subject, and the concepts of the apocalyptic and the messianic in political philosophy; and to engage socio-political themes such as social theory, the state, the market, capitalism, democracy, empire and globalization. Each of these philosophers write significant books and articles on the apostle (Badiou, Breton, Žižek), and even philosophical commentaries on Paul’s letters (Taubes, Agamben), as a way to give shape to their philosophies.

This project gathers a team of philosophers, theologians and Paul scholars for a critical engagement of this recent development in philosophy. Our aims are several:

  • To accurately describe and map out the various philosophical and political appropriations of the work of Saint Paul, displaying common themes and sometimes sharp differences among them, and exploring connections to other historical and contemporary interpreters of Paul.
  • To engage the readings of Paul by the philosophers from the perspective of current biblical scholarship on the apostle, asking 1) in what ways the Paul(s) of the philosophers are similar to and different from the Paul(s) of biblical scholarship; and 2) in what ways biblical scholarship on Paul might confirm, expand, deepen or reshape the readings of the philosophers.
  • To explore how secular philosophical and political readings of Paul might provide Christian scholars with unexpected, valuable, even indispensable perspectives on the apostle which would further deepen and reconfigure Christian understandings and appropriations of Paul in contemporary philosophical and political discourse.
    Most importantly, to make our own fundamental contribution to the discourse among secularists, Christians and Jews over Saint Paul’s ongoing relevance for philosophical, social and political life in the modern worlds. We do so from en explicitly Christian perspective which affirms and participates in Paul’s own theological convictions.

We propose to meet these aims through team meetings, seminars with graduate and doctoral students and faculty, and, if further funding becomes available, a seminar/conference for the wider scholarly public. Results will be disseminated primarily in an edited volume published by a major university or other scholarly press. Conference papers, refereed publications, and possible other monographs are also envisaged.

The History and Sociology of the Protestant Missions Movement from the Global South

Paul Freston
Project Director
Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social, and Economic Thought
Calvin College

Young-Gi Hong
Professor, Hansei University
President, Institute for Church Growth (Seoul, Korea)

Kim-Kwong Chan
Professor, University of Hong Kong
Executive Secretary, Hong Kong Christian Council

Dario Lopez
President & Professor
Centro Evangelico de Misiologia Andino-Amazonica (Lima, Peru)

Sushil Aaron
Researcher
Centre de Sciences Humaines (New Delhi, India)

Abstract:

‘The History and Sociology of the Protestant Missions Movement from the Global South’ will develop knowledge of the process by which Protestant transnational proselytism has ceased to be the near-preserve of Western agencies and has been ‘browned’ by missionaries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The shift in the center of Christian gravity has been brought increasingly to academic, media and popular attention, but ‘southern’ roles in expanding the faith transnationally have been little examined.
Also, while the complexity of global religious ‘flows’ is recognized, this is usually not related to ‘southern’ Christian missions. Thus, the project fills a gap in empirical research and theoretical reflection found in scholarship both on global Christianity and on global religious flows.

The project director has addressed this through theoretical reflection and empirical research into the exporting of Brazilian evangelicalism. But little has been done from a sociological perspective on other ‘southern’ cases. The project will use the director’s work on Brazilian missionaries to stimulate similar studies on the missions movement (understood as transnational [outside national borders] and trans-ethnic [not just servicing the respective diaspora]) from other areas of the global south. This will be related to questions of: the future of religion under globalization; models of religion and modernity; the reality of Christianity as a ‘globalization from below’; debates on proselytism and human rights globally; the ‘Davie hypothesis’ regarding the religious future of Europe (that non-European efforts to re-Christianize it will have little success); the ‘Jenkins hypothesis’ regarding supposedly conservative attitudes of ‘southern’ evangelicals; and implications for mission in ‘resistant’ areas such as the Muslim world.

The project thus unites theoretical concerns with methodological discussion and empirical research. Case studies will include missions originating from ‘homelands’ and from their respective diasporas, as well as ‘full time’ and ‘tent making’ missionaries.

The team will first hold a workshop to discuss texts on: global Christianity; classical missions from the West; globalization and religion; models of religion and modernity; and the project director’s own work on evangelicalism and globalization, and Brazilian missions. Then the intended research on Protestant missions from the ‘south’ will be addressed directly (state of current knowledge; methodological questions; issues to be examined). Team members (from Korea, the Chinese world, India, West Africa and Spanish-speaking Latin America) will then carry out research and produce lengthy chapters (to be discussed at a subsequent team meeting) for an eventual collaborative volume and other forms of dissemination.

Science, Faith, and Human Nature: Reconciling Neuroscience and Christian Theology

Brad Strawn
Project Director
Associate Professor
Point Loma Nazarene University

William Struthers
Department of Psychology
Wheaton College

Tom Fikes
Department of Psychology
Westmont College

Stephanie Smith
School of Intercultural Studies
Fuller Theological Seminary

Thomas Jay Oord
Department of Religion and Philosophy
Northwest Nazarene University

Kevin Corcoran
Department of Philosophy
Calvin College

Paul Moes
Department of Psychology
Calvin College

Rebecca Filetstra
Department of Biology and Chemistry
Point Loma Nazarene University
Lecturer: Warren Brown
School of Psychology
Fuller Theological Seminary

Abstract:

Cognitive neuroscience has raised important questions regarding the traditional Hebrew/Christian understanding of persons as bodies inhabited by immortal, non-material souls, i.e.dualism. Research has increasingly shown that capacities once thought to be in the realm of the soul have neurophysiological correlates. Physicalism (monism) offers an alternative. However, this view has typically been associated with forms of reductionism that are repugnant to a religious/theological view of the person. Non-reductive physicalism provides a view of human nature that can be reconciled with a theological perspective. From this point of view, humans (as physical beings) are souls- they do not have souls. However, any attempt to bring together dimensions of human persons traditionally termed body, mind and soul into a single entity must be concerned about preservation of critical properties and attributes of human nature, and potentials for human experience, which have been presumed in Christian tradition and theology to be aspects of a soul.

A gathering of CCCU scholars is proposed to consider the issues and implication of nonreductive physicalism from the perspectives of biology, psychology, philosophy, and theology. The focal event of this gathering will be the 2005 Fuller Integration Lectures to be given by Warren S. Brown. These three lectures will explore the problems raised by neuroscience with respect to dualism, recent evidence for nonreductive properties of the nervous system (i.e., emergence and top-down causation), and suggestions for the alternative formulations of theological anthropology that are consistent with nonreductive physicalism.

Warren S. Brown is professor of psychology at the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he is Director of the Lee Travis Research Institute. He is actively involved in experimental neuropsychological research, particularly related to functions of the corpus callosum in relationship to human higher cognitive processes. He has authored or coauthored over 70 scholarly articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals; 15 chapters in edited scholarly books; and over 120 presentations in scientific meetings. Brown has also written and lectured widely on the implications of neuroscience for a Christian view of human nature. He served as principal editor of Whatever Happened to the Soul: Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature (with Nancey Murphy and Newton Malony; Fortress Press, 1998) and Understanding Wisdom: Sources, Science, and Society (Templeton Press, 2001). Brown and philosopher Nancey Murphy are currently working on a book entitled, Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?: Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility.

Theology and Management

Kenman Wong
Project Director
Joseph C. Hope Professor of Leadership and Ethics
Seattle Pacific University

Richard Martinez
Assistant Professor of Management, Hankamer School of Business
Baylor University

Bruno Dyck
Professor of Management, I. H. Asper School of Business
University of Manitoba
Denise Daniels
Associate Professor of Management
Seattle Pacific University

Randal Franz
Associate Professor of Management
Seattle Pacific University

Blaine McCormick
Assistant Professor of Management, Hankamer School of Business
Baylor University

Mitchell Neubert
H.R. Gibson Chair of Management Development
Assistant Professor of Management, Hankamer School of Business
Baylor University

Tim Dearborn
Associate Director, Christian Impact
World Vision International
Former Associate Professor of Theology & Dean of the Chapel
Seattle Pacific University

Jeff Van Duzer
Dean, School of Business Law and Ethics
Seattle Pacific University

Abstract:

At present, academicians in the field of management (and its sub-disciplines) are highly interested in a number of themes that should be natural topics of Christian scholarly concern. For example, recent theme issues of respected journals and/or sessions at the yearly Academy of Management conference (average attendance 6,000) have focused on spirituality/vocational significance, trust, forgiveness, servant leadership, and managerial/corporate purpose, to name a few. Yet, a distinctively Christian voice on these topics is barely audible in these settings. So far, these discussions have been framed largely by secular and, in some cases, eastern religious assumptions. Christian scholars attempting to address these issues from within a Christian worldview are apt to find a huge gap in the literature. Past attempts at “integration,” with few notable exceptions, have been relegated to the domain of applied ethics, leaving worldview or paradigmatic level issues as “givens” that go largely unquestioned. Furthermore, past endeavors have rarely reached secular audiences. Prevailing assumptions and current directions in the management literature tend to reduce human beings to physical/material objects with instrumental value, rest on the radical individualism and/or economic reductionism, promote efficiency as the sole goal of managerial work, and places “self” at the center of vocational purpose and meaning. Our project will bring Christian theology to bear on these types of assumptions and values, and the theories built upon them. In addition to engaging in evaluation, and critique, we will develop alternative theories and models of management. This grant would help bring together a working group of scholars (with a broad spectrum of academic training) who have begun, largely independenlty of one another, to successfully bring a Christian perspective into the mainstream of the management academy. We will meet together during three successive summer working sessions to deepen our knowledge of theology and Christian scholarship, produce papers of high academic quality, and disseminate our work to the mainstream academy. Our hope is to nurture the development of a sustainable network/community of scholars who can work together to inform management theory, research, and teaching with Christian values and ideas. A major goal of our work is to make a significant contribution to a repository of developed ideas that can be used by scholars engaged in similar research efforts in the future.

Testing a Model of the Role of Forgiveness in the Social Competence of Young Children

Beverly J. Wilson
Project Director
Associate Professor of Graduate Psychology
Seattle Pacific University

Susanne Denham
Professor of Psychology
George Mason University

Stephanie Pickering
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student
Department of Graduate Psychology
Seattle Pacific University

Abstract:
The proposed project involves a collaborative research project between faculty at Seattle Pacific University and George Mason University. The project will investigate factors that facilitate children’s ability to form supportive relationship with peers. Children who have problems making friends are at risk for continuing problems throughout development. An important aspect of children’s social competence involves their behavioral and emotional responses during challenging interactions with peers. Specifically the proposed study examines children’s tendency to respond to these situations with forgiveness and prosocial behavior versus anger and revenge. Anger and revenge-oriented responses tend to lead to rejection by peers, whereas more prosocial responses facilitate the development of supportive peer relationships. This area of research is also important for understanding interpersonal aggression because many acts of violence appear to be motivated by anger and revenge. The current study also seeks to understand factors that influence children’s tendency to seek revenge or forgive others such as individual differences in the child and experiences in the family. Very little is currently known about forgiveness in young children; most of the previous research in this area has been completed with adults or adolescents. We plan to investigate the relations between children’s anger/revenge, prosocial behavior, forgiveness and their social competence through the use of multiple reporters and observations in the parent/child setting.

Assessments include individual interviews of children’s:
a) tendency to forgive peers when they have been harmed
b) processing of social information including revenge versus prosocial solutions to social problems
c) emotion regulation skills
d) empathic concern for others
e) general verbal skills.

Children will also complete an assessment of their attention skills and two semi-structured interactions with their parents.

Parent/child interactions include:
a) a physical game designed to elicit positive and negative emotions and
b) a discussion of recent events where the parent and child have harmed each other and how they dealt with these situations.

These tasks provide opportunities for observing how families deal with interpersonal events that elicit emotions and the degree to which children and their parents express empathy and forgiveness toward each other. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop and test a model of forgiveness in children including the role of individual and familial factors. This information should prove useful for designing more effective interventions for children who have social and conduct problems.

Virtue in Culture: A Hermeneutic Perspective

Kaye Cook
Project Director
Professor of Psychology
Gordon College

Oliver Lindhiem
Associate Project Director
Anchorage House
Beverly, MA

Peter Hill
Professor of Psychology
Biola University

Steven Sandage
Associate Professor, Marriage & Family Therapy
Bethel Theological Seminary

Brad Strawn
Associate Professor, Psychology
Point Loma Nazarene University

Robert Roberts
Professor of Ethics
Baylor University, Consultant

Project Abstract:
Believing that hermeneutic psychology—with its emphasis on context, the dynamic and interrelated nature of behavior, everyday morality, narrative, and humans as self-interpreting beings—provides the best paradigm for exploring virtues, we plan to interview religious leaders from several cultures, asking them to identify exemplars of virtue within their culture and to talk about the virtues. We then plan to interview the individuals they identify as virtuous. We believe that, by studying the similarities and differences between people’s understandings of the virtues in different cultural and religious contexts, we can contribute to theorizing about the nature of the virtues.

The research will consist of two stages. In the first stage, we will interview religious leaders from four populations, the first of which is Christian American non-immigrants, interviewed by two team members in two different parts of the country. In addition, we will interview first-generation Hmong immigrants (who historically are animist), first-generation Sudanese immigrants (families, not the so-called “lost boys”) who are often predominantly Muslim if they are from the North and from African traditional religions if from the South, and first-generation Cambodian immigrants (who are predominantly Buddhist). These populations are selected for convenience and because we expect to find differences in virtues among animists, Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian groups. The interviews will have several components: (1) We will ask religious leaders to name and describe important qualities for a virtuous person to have. (2) We will give them paragraph summaries of virtues and ask which they prefer and why. (3) We will ask them to name virtuous people. The second stage of the research process will consist of interviewing the virtuous people named by the religious leaders, asking such questions as what their goals are, whether they are religious, and what experiences have influenced their goals.

The project will result in several outcomes: a grant proposal for added funding submitted by the end of spring 2003; a theoretical paper about virtue from a hermeneutic perspective submitted b the end of summer 2004; substantial progress on data collection; and a symposium proposal or paper presentation proposal to be submitted to the American Psychological Association. In developing the project, particularly since this group of faculty has never worked together, we will also need to convene several team meetings.

We expect to find that the specific virtues named in different contexts may be similar but that the way in which the virtues are understood and organized differs by cultural and/or religious context. The hermeneutic paradigm provides a powerful way of describing this difference.

Living as Part of God’s Green Earth

John R. Wood
Project Director
Director of Environmental Studies
The King’s University College

Mark Bjelland
Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies,
Gustavus Adolphus College

Steve Bouma-Prediger
Associate Professor of Religion
Hope College

Susan Bratton
Chair, Environmental Studies Department,
Baylor University

Janel Curry
Dean for Research and Scholarship
Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies
Calvin College

Abstract:

The key question of this proposed working group is this: How can our understanding of self and our moral understanding be deepened to account for our membership in societies that are embedded in particular places, which are, in turn, embedded within environmental systems? This question reflects the challenge of understanding humans as placed simultaneously within societal structures and within nature in a way that neither negates the uniqueness of humans, created in the image of God, nor denigrates the value of God’s earth. Christian thinking on the environment has come a long way from the time of Lynn White’s classic article, “The Historical Roots of Our Environmental Crisis.” Writings on our theological and philosophical understanding of our relationship with creation have grown. Also, our scientific understanding of human impacts and the workings of nature has increased. Thus far, most Christian writings on the environment have tended to be primarily theological. Those that do deal more directly with the earth are limited in that they either take a totally utilitarian or preservationist perspective, or present solutions that remain oriented toward individual lifestyle choices. Careful thinking on the intersection of meaning, nature, and social relations is lacking. We are left with frameworks, provided by secular thinkers, that put humans at the center of meaning.

Christian thinking-and environmental thought, in general-needs a deeper understanding of humanity’s relationship with nature as it is lived out in society and in communities-the link between philosophy/theology and the earth. This area of inquiry falls largely into the realm of the social sciences. In contrast to these Christian responses to the environmental challenge, this working group starts with the assumption of the non-reducibility of morality, social structures, and the Earth.

  1. This grant would establish a working group of Christian scholars, who bridge disciplines from theology and philosophy to social science and ecology, that would continue to collaborate over the three-year period of the grant and beyond. Their activities, beyond individual writing projects, deepened by the interaction, include plans to:
    Meet in four working sessions
  2. Lead a three-week seminar that incorporates graduate students, practitioners, and other faculty
  3. Present our work at the biennial King’s University College Conference on the Environment that is targeted at practitioners
    4) Organize and contribute to a joint conference with the American Scientific Affiliation
    5) Publish in our own disciplines but also begin a book for a Christian audience

Christian Scholars Redeeming Rhetoric for Writers, Classrooms, and Institutions

Elizabeth Vander Lei
Project Director
Assistant Professor of English,
Calvin College

Beth Daniell
Associate Professor of English
Clemson University

Anne Ruggles Gere
Professor of English and Professor of Education
University of Michigan

David Jolliffe
Professor of English
DePaul University

Thomas Amorose
Professor of English and Director of Campus Writing
Department of English
Seattle Pacific University

Abstract:

Recently, scholars in the field of rhetoric and composition have taken intense interest in the relationships between spirituality and writing in general and between Christianity and writing in particular. While Christian scholars may appreciate this new interest in their faith, they also may be troubled by the ways that some of these scholars warp Christian tenets to fit features of current rhetorical theory. The goals of this project are these:

  • To foster this interest in Christian rhetoric
    To influence developing ideas about Christian rhetoric and to encourage other scholars to honor the integrity of Christian belief
  • To model ways of rhetoric to writers, texts, and contexts for writing
  • To accomplish these goals, our working group will read in rhetorical theory, in composition theory, and in primary texts by Christian authors.

We will consider the ways that Christians have addressed rhetorical concerns and explore the ways that Christian theology can frame rhetorical practice. We will discuss how current pressing questions from the field of rhetoric and composition can be answered in Christian terms by applying central tenets of the Christian faith such as the sovereignty of God; the nature of humans, human intelligence, and human language; the importance of human community; and the power of language to create, to convict, to enact.

Because current interest in Christian rhetoric is so intense and because most scholars in secular institutions have few opportunities to discuss the intersections of Christianity and rhetoric, we will disseminate the results of our discussion in three venues:

  • A Web Site (to be developed 2002) that offers bibliographies, links, and discussion forums
    A conference (to be held 2004) that offers opportunities for the CCCU team, students (both graduate and undergraduate), and other scholars to read and discuss papers on the intersections of Christianity and rhetoric
  • A volume (to be published 2004) of collaboratively written chapters, team member papers, as well as selected papers from the conference
  • In addition, we expect that each member of the team, informed and mentored by the collaborative work of the team, will publish individually in the discipline.

New Directions in the Dialogue between Theology and Psychology

Al Dueck
Project Director
Professor of Psychology
Fuller Theological Seminary

Mari Clements
Fuller Theological Seminary

William Hathaway
Associate Professor of Psychology
Regent College

Cynthia Neal Kimball
Associate Professor of Psychology
Wheaton College

Cameron Lee
Professor of Family Studies
School of Psychology
Fuller Theological SeminaryDerek McNeil
Associate Professor of Psychology
Wheaton College

Nancy Murphy
Professor of Christian Philosophy
Fuller Theological Seminary

Kevin Reimer
Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary

Frank Richardson
Professor, Dept. of Educational Psychology
University of Texas, Austin

Robert Roberts
Distinguished Professor of Ethics
Baylor University

Brent Slife
Professor of Psychology
Brigham Young University

Randal Sorenson
Associate Professor of Psychology
Rosemead School of Professional Psychology

Abstract:

This proposal requests funds to network scholars concerned about the dialogue between theology and psychology with the express purpose of exploring new paradigms. Currently, integrative dialogue occurs within commitments to modernist perspectives on research and epistemology, the nature and role of the individual, the nature of interdisciplinary dialogue and the relevance of international perspective on issues such as violence. As a result, we appear to be overly committed to a scientific research program in integrative research with less concern about larger theoretical issues. Both the religious and the psychological communities have neglected the role of church and community in relationship to the individual in understanding both spirituality and emotion. Reductionism has made impossible a genuine dialogue between psychologists and theologians. And finally, such practical and global issues as violence need to be factored into new paradigms we consider. In summary we must address the issues of positivism, individualism, reductionism and provincialism in the new directions we propose.

Dr. Nancy Murphy is Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary in the School of Theology. She holds doctorates in both theology and philosophy of science. Dr. Murphy has agreed to present three major papers suggesting new directions. In all, ten scholars have agreed to participate in this colloquium. They represent a diversity of disciplines: theology, ethics, sociology, psychology and philosophy. Team members will be asked to respond to Dr. Murphy’s proposals and to chart new directions themselves. A list-serve will be created where resources and commentary can be shared. After distributing to each other their significant integrative publications and their written presentation, the team members will come together for four days of discussion and dialogue in January, 2003. A course will be organized around the colloquium so as to include students capable and interested in addressing these issues. Also, Murphy’s lectures and portions of the colloquium will be open to the academic community in the area and the larger public. The most important outcomes of this colloquium include the opportunity for a small group of scholars to chart new directions, the publication of an edited collection of the papers presented by the team and the presentation of papers at national conferences.

Gender, Genre, and Faith: Religion and the Nineteenth-Century Woman Writer

Pamela Corpron Parker
Project Director
Assistant Professor of English
Whitworth College

Alexis Easley
Assistant Professor of English
University of Alaska Southeast

Maria LaMonaca
Lilly Fellow & Lecturer in English
Valparaiso University

Julie Straight
Graduate Student and Instructor
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Kathleen Vejvoda
Assistant Professor of English
Metropolitan State University (St. Paul, MN)

Abstract:

Victorian preoccupations with gender, religion, and national identity permeate the works of a variety of familiar and unfamiliar authors. Gender, Genre, and Faith focuses on Christian women writers of nineteenth-century Britain. Religious beliefs not only shaped the lives and identities of thousands of English women from every economic class, but also were foundational to the ongoing projects of nineteenth-century imperialism and feminism. All too often, existing studies ignore, oversimplify, or distort women’s religious experiences and expressions, representing them as psychological aberrations or mere rhetorical tools. This project seeks to provide a more accurate, amplified account of the literary history of the nineteenth-century by illuminating the broader cultural and religious contexts in which individual women writers worked. Using the theoretical lenses of feminism and cultural criticism, the project will document women authors’ innovations in a variety of literary genres. It will trace their explorations of gender identities and clarify their contributions to the debates over religious dissent, the establishment of the English Empire, and the role of the woman writer. Participants will read recognizable literary works, such as the novels of Charlotte Bronte and poems of Christina Rossetti, alongside non-literary and less canonical texts, such as Harriet Martineau’s political journalism and Hannah More’s biblical treatises. Collaboration is not only desirable, but essential to the success of the project. Questions regarding the intersections of gender, genre, and faith are complex, and they require the ecumenical breadth and combined expertise provided by a group of scholars with varied religious and theoretical training. Initial collaborations promise both a specialized scholarly context as well as a rich spiritual community. With support for extended summer research and collaboration on annual conference panel presentations, such as the British Women Writers Conference, the research should produce significant contributions to the fields of nineteenth-century British literature, religious history, and women’s studies. As the projects get underway, participants will incorporate other interested scholars into the project, invited promising undergraduate and graduate students to assist in research. At the conclusion of the grant, we hope to plan an additional conference entitled, “Gender and Faith in the Christian Liberal Arts College.”

Modes of Design Reasoning

Stephen Meyer
Project Director
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Whitworth College

Robin Collins
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Messiah College

William Dembski
Associate Professor in the Conceptual Foundations of Science
Baylor University

Robert Koons
Professor of Philosophy
University of Texas

Timothy McGrew
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Western Michigan University

Lydia McGrew
Independent Scholar
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Paul Nelson
Senior Fellow
Discovery Institute

Del Ratzsch
Professor of Philosophy
Calvin College

Abstract:

Arguments for design in nature were revered for millennia in the West, and were a long staple of Christian theology and philosophy. With the criticisms of David Hume, however, and especially with the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, these arguments became less and less common, not only in biology, but in philosophy and theology as well. In the last few years, however, design arguments have begun to reemerge in physics, cosmology, and even biology. At the same time, the philosophers have begun attempts to formalize design inferences. These developments are important, since a rigorous and empirically sensitive design argument would create new opportunities for the Christian and theistic view of the world in fields as diverse as philosophy, theology, biology, physics, and psychology. An important recent attempt as such formalization is The Design Inference (Cambridge University Press, 1998) by mathematician and philosopher, William Dembski. His proposal, which depends on a non-Bayesian statistical analysis, has met with both approval and criticism among scientists and philosophers, both within and outside of the academic world. A number of Christian scholars have already begun applying his method in their disciplines. Others share Dembski’s motivation, but profoundly disagree with his proposal. (See, for example, the forthcoming interchange between Dembski and Christian philosopher Robin Collins in Christian Scholars’ Review.) Still, others argue for a different but complementary method to Dembski’s, appealing to such notions as “inference to the best explanation”.

Regrettably, despite the public debate on “intelligent design’, there has not yet been an opportunity for certain Christian scholars to consider and collaborate on different models for inferring design. This project would do just that. First, it will convene a small symposium to interact, and where possible, resolve some of these technical disputes. After a preliminary exchange of papers concerned with the topic: Models of Design Reasoning: How do we infer in the real world?, the group will meet at Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan), on May 22-24, 2001, to interact and respond to each other’s proposals. A number of lines of inquiry are likely to emerge from this meeting. Timothy McGrew will edit and publish the papers and official responses as a single volume entitled Models of Design Reasoning. Before the volume is published, panel presentations on the same topic will be proposed for the annual meetings of the American Philosophical Association, the Society of Christian Philosophers, and the Evangelical Philosophical Society.

Surprising Beauty: The Body Broken/The Body Whole

Bruce Herman
Project Director
Professor of Art
Gordon College

David Goa
Curator Provincial
Museum of Alberta

Eric Grimm-Vance
Assistant Professor of Art
Trinity Western University

Edward Khippers
Artist
Arlington, Virginia
Patricia Jones
Art Patron Director
Ogilvy Public Relations (Cambridge, MA)

Abstract:

We propose an exhibition by Christian artists of national standing to be displayed alongside the works of secular counterparts, and centered upon the human form and its expressive possibilities in the post-culture. The exhibit will bring to the public square powerful examples of art addressing beauty revealed in the human body in diverse circumstances: bodies broken by disease, age, accidents of birth, or martyrdom; bodies presented in the classical mode of wholeness and health; bodies presented as political territory, exploited, sub-divided, humiliated, or exalted. The exhibition will unapologetically address a living religious-art tradition, which directly or indirectly references Christ’s incarnation, passion, and resurrection as a radical critique of human categories of beauty and meaning-especially in its understanding of the physical body. The western tradition of body representation has been thoroughly revisited and critiqued in recent years.

Contemporary artists, particularly feminists, have been referencing the body for more than twenty years now as a battlefield of political and social consciousness. Artists such as Francis Bacon, Alice Kneel, Lucian Freud, and others have given us raw images of the body that would seem to lay the axe to received traditions of the body beautiful. What has been lacking in contemporary body-art (and the critical analysis attending to it) is a careful examination of a crucial subtext to nearly all figurative representation: an underlying shared vision of human beauty and significance. To many this undoubtedly seems too loaded a concept; too fraught with the danger of sentimentality on the one hand, or elitist pretense on the other. To others it might seem hopelessly naïve. We do not think so. Th Christian sacred art tradition may offer an alternative to the polarities of saccharine prettiness (19th Century European realism) or the deadpan, raw representations of the human visage often seen in modernist body-art. This alternative centers upon the passion of Christ and the implicit critique it sets in motion over against typical human understandings of power, success, and beauty. Whereas the Greco-Roman vision postulates an ideal form, exalting youth, strength, and social superiority-the Christian art tradition reveals meaning and beauty in the apparent failure, weakness, and pathos of the Cross. Broken human beings for twenty centuries have discovered an unsentimental hope in this image of a body broken on the wheel of human power. The passion of Christ has always been seen as a point of transcendence in its poignancy; a powerless, innocent man lays down his life in the face of political power and religious bigotry, and ends by becoming the undisputed fulcrum of western history. It goes without saying that Christian theology and church traditions have not always fully understood or honored the implications of this alternative vision-and, in fact, often have been chief antagonists to it. However, it is our contention that the Christian sacred art tradition provides a possible third way: a genuine alternative to the cloying nostalgia of traditionalist concepts of beauty on the one hand, and the endgame despair of the modernist attack on bourgeois sensibility on the other. This tradition of religious art is alive and well though largely ignored by contemporary art culture (and by its own Christian community as well).

Religious art continues to be a vital arena of investigation and expression and our exhibition attempts to prove this to be true. Moreover, it is hoped that fruitful dialogue for the common good can be stimulated by placing contemporary religious art (which utilizes the human form as central) alongside secular and feminist body art, both of which may hold more common ground than is currently imagined. At the very least it is hoped that, by presenting differing visions of the body and its meaning in culture, we can enliven the public square with fruitful discussion, stimulating scholarly attention and leavening public discourse around the issue of human beauty in its full and surprising range of expression.

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

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

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

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.

Human Nature and Human Freedom: A Christian Response to Reductionist Versions of Materialism

Kevin Corcoran
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Calvin College
Project Director

William Hasker
Professor of Philosophy
Huntington College

J.P. Moreland
Professor of Philosophy
Talbot School of Theology
Biola University

Michael Murray
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Franklin & Marshall College

Timothy O’Connor
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Indiana University

Dean Zimmerman
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Notre Dame

Abstract:
In keeping with the teaching of sacred scripture and the ecumenical creeds, we Christians believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. We also believe in a future judgment which will determine how that resurrection life is spent: whether joyfully in the presence of God or sadly and miserably separated from the source of all joy and human fulfillment. These orthodox Christian beliefs are directly related to important metaphysical topics, topics of interest not just to Christian philosophers and philosophical theologians, but also to philosophers in the broader academic community. The metaphysical topics most intimately involved concern the nature of human persons and free will. This project will bring together faculty from both Christian and secular colleges and universities who have made important contributions to the study of human nature from a Christian perspective. The project will unfold in three installments. A summer conference in 2000 at Gordon College, a workshop on human nature and human freedom at Calvin College, March 8-10, 2001 and a culminating conference TBA in 2002. Our primary intention is to publish the fruit of our labors as self-sustaining articles in high caliber philosophy journals.

Coming Full Circle: Devolution of State Delivery of Human Services to Faith-Based Human Service Organizations

Fred DeJong
Professor of Sociology
Calvin College
Project Director

Diana Garland
Professor of Social Work
Baylor University

Katherine Hemert
Assistant Professor of Social Work
University of Kentucky

Beryl Hugen
Professor of Social Work
Calvin College

Lawrence Ressler
Professor of Social Work
Roberts Wesleyan College

Abstract:
Research attention on the role of faith-based organizations in social welfare has focused on the impact of their social service activities on the community. Virtually no attention has been given to the impact of these activities on the faith-based organizations themselves. This project proposes to conduct a study of the effects on faith-based organizations, as well as on their communities, of their increased collaborative relationships with state and local governments in the delivery of social services. Particular attention will be given to the central role the element of faith plays in these organizations. A typology will be developed to study and research various organizational domains (e.g. Service activities, staff motivation and training, program outcomes, mission) to help identify both specific challenges and new opportunities faith-based organizations encounter in the current devolution of social welfare. The project’s proposed outcomes are as follows: (1) create a network of scholars to study and research the literature related to the role and impact of faith-based organizations in social welfare; (2) produce a scholarly concept paper to suggest a future research agenda and methodological framework; (3) draft a larger research grant proposal based on this concept paper; and (4) make an application to a major charitable funding source for support. Research partners represent the social work faculties of four colleges and universities in four regions of the country; Baylor University (southwest), University of Kentucky (south), Calvin College (upper Midwest), and Robert Wesleyan College (northeast).

Neohumanism and the Ethical Turn in Theological Perspective

Norman Klassen
Assistant Professor of English Literature
Trinity Western University
Project Director

Tony Cummins
Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Studies
Canadian Theological Seminary

Alex Hawkin,
Ph.D. Candidate in Religion
Duke University

Bruce Hindmarsh
Professor of Church History and Historical Theology
Briercrest Biblical Seminary

Jens Zimmerman
Dept. Of English Language and Literature
Trinity Western University

Abstract:
In the spirit of the movement of radical orthodoxy, which reclaims for Christian theology some of the current preoccupations of postmodernism (e.g. the implications of the linguistic turn, as shown by John Milbank’s The Word Made Strange), this project participates in the contemporary critique of humanism. We locate this project in the context of the so-called ethical turn which is presently unfolding in postmodern discourse. Different from existing projects on the topic of humanism (as, for example, The Case for Christian Humanism 1991), what we are calling neohumanism addresses specific current academic issues in order to demonstrate, at a scholarly level, the significance of biblical anthropology for literature, hermeneutics, theology and social theory. This project will have three overarching emphases:

  1. a reconsideration of the rise of humanism and its gradual and inexorable dissolution of the links between Christian theology and the humanist enterprise. Within this emphasis, points of interest include late medieval Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the rise of the Enlightenment project, and Evangelicalism;
  2. engagement with the critique of humanism (including much of modernist theology) by contemporary postmodern discourse, fueled by theory indebted especially to Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. For even conservative modernist theology found itself indebted to humanism and the Enlightenment project with its rather positivistic ideals. Following such writers as Graham Ward (e.g. The Postmodern God 1997), we will show the necessity of engaging postmodern discourse.
  3. an outline of the enduring relevance of notions of humanism in the context of the current ethical turn in literature, hermeneutics, theology and social theory. Current secular scholarship in philosophy and related disciplines (political philosophy, literary theory, cultural studies, hermeneutics, etc.), once dominated by the so-called linguistic turn, is preoccupied with ethical concerns. Spurred on to self-criticism by post-structuralist French philosophy, especially Derrida’s enterprise of deconstruction, the critique of existing institutions of knowledge and human endeavor has led to a crisis to articulate norms for human interaction, a crisis manifest in the recent and current efforts in political philosophy (Charles Taylor), hermeneutics (Hans Georg Gadamer), social theory (Jürgen Habermas), and philosophy (Emmanuel Lévinas). In concert with current postmodern theoretical developments, we view the ethical turn as a rich opportunity for theological neohumanism to address an academy that has grown tired of deconstructive and related approaches to cultural studies. Contrary to postmodern theoretical discourse, we affirm the need to uphold the connection between theology (biblical anthropology) and those “humanistic” disciplines which represent the life of the mind as well as the cherished belief in the ability of humans to cooperate with one another. Neohumanism, as a biblically informed assessment of human nature in light of current academic issues, sees itself as an affirming Christian witness for a renewed understanding of what it means to be human in a culture of suspicion and mistrust. However, contrary to some elements within evangelical and reformed theology, we consider humanism a worthwhile project because it valorizes the individual, the body, creatureliness in relation to God, and the desire to cooperate with each other toward the common social good. Christian humanists have often unwittingly sanctioned a humanist ideal and find themselves vulnerable to the postmodern critique; because they are unaware of the possibilities for a biblically informed neohumanism, they are unwilling to learn from the postmodern critique or to give up their own modernist positions.

In short, this collaborative project explores neohumanism as the awareness of the failures of the humanist project and the opportunity to reclaim intellectual, theological and existential concerns regarding what it means, in N.T. Wright’s phrasing, to “exhibit true and full humanity, reflecting the image of God.”