Book showcases lecturers' imagination

Faithful Imagination bookA new book representing the work of the first eight Worldview Lecturers, Faithful Imagination in the Academy: Explorations in Religious Belief and Scholarship (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), is now available.

“It answers in detail just what it means for scholars in various disciplines to answer the questions: Just what does faith commitment mean to scholarship? And what does ‘faith and learning’ actually amount to when you do serious and nuanced work in your disciplines?” said Ron Wells, a contributor and co-editor of the book.

Each lecturer submitted a lecture that was converted to an essay for the book, “which came together beautifully,” according to co-editor Janel Curry, Calvin dean for research and scholarship.

The purpose of the book mirrors that of the lectureship: to demonstrate how religious commitments are reflected in intellectual work.

The collection is prefaced by saying, “We respond in advance to two possible objections: to those who think that religion does not and cannot have a place in academic discourse, we ask that they give these essays an honest and open reading; to those scholars of faith who think that one’s academic conclusions should be substantially … different from secular people, we ask that they, too, give us an honest and open reading before they express their possible disappointment at our cautious approach.”

Just as the lectures consider a Christian perspective on a variety of the topics, so the book reflects this diversity, covering such subjects as the media, science and creation, language and social policy.

“We wanted the book to be another venue showcasing what we do at Calvin,” said Wells. “There are a lot of faith-based colleges that are very interested in doing the types of things we’re doing at Calvin, and hopefully this will be helpful to them, too.”

Faith Matters: Lectureship shares Calvin’s approach to Christian scholarship