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Christianity in the Academy: Teaching at the Intersection of Faith and Learning (RenewedMinds) [Paperback]

By Harry Lee Poe (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 6.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.69 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 2004
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801027233  
EAN  9780801027239  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Every day, in colleges and universities all around the world, professors of everything from philosophy to geology offer their students a perspective on the world around them. According to Harry L. Poe, christian professors must "join the conversation." They must not be afraid to teach their chosen subjects in a way that integrates and upholds a faith perspective. Discover practical advise that will aid faculty in accomplishing this goal. This book will be extremely helpful to Christian teachers at both christian and secular schools as well as administrators and supporters of church-related colleges because integrates faith and learning in higher education and explores major issues and offers practical exercises.

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More About Harry Lee Poe

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Harry Lee Poe is the Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture at Union University. He is the author of several books, including "Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion to His Tell-Tale Stories"; "The Inklings of Oxford"; and "What God Knows: Time and the Question of Divine Knowledge."

Harry Lee Poe currently resides in the state of Tennessee. Harry Lee Poe was born in 1950.

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Product Categories
1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity   [2832  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Education > General   [3629  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent resource for those wishing to or already teaching in institutions of higher education  Dec 15, 2006
I must confess that Harry Poe's book Christianity in the Academy was not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting this book to be about teaching in an academy where an integration of Christianity and other disciplines would be assumed, and was rather surprised to find that in actuality it was mostly about how to be a Christian professor while teaching in a setting where it was not assumed. Thus the main thrust of this book seemed to be that all disciplines are related to each other, and thus are related to Christianity. This means that no matter what we are teaching there is a way for it to be taught Christianly. There is a Christian view of mathematics, a Christian view of physics, a Christian view of anthropology, etc.

Poe outlines three views on how Christianity relates to "secular" disciplines. The first view is that Christianity has nothing to do with disciplines like biology or sociology. As one mathematics professor at a Christian university said, "There is no such thing as a Christian perspective of quadratic equations." Or, as Tertullian said, "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" Those who hold this view separate their faith from the "real world." They (usually) accept the faith/reason dichotomy brought by Kant, and see faith as something that really does not have much to do with the physical world or the creative world. It has little involvement with either the sciences or humanities. Perhaps the only place it could make it in is in a religion class, and even then it is usually set aside in an attempt to be unbiased about other religions (as if that were a real possibility).

The second position on how Christianity interacts with other disciplines is that we must "add Christ" into them. This view holds that in order for one to have a Christian view of a discipline, you must first add something Christian into the discipline that you wish to have a Christian view on. In other words, you take a science and add religious overtones to it. Good examples of this would be many people in the young earth creationist movement (geology), the KJV only advocates (textual criticism), etc.

Finally, there is the position that you can have a Christian position in any discipline because the Christian worldview is something that seeks to explain literally everything in the universe, and some things outside of it. One person to hold such a position would be Francis Schaeffer, who taught that the Christian worldview is about reality, not the faith realm. Nothing needs to be added to disciplines for them to relate to Christianity, they simply already do by the very virtue of existing, for everything that exists relates to one's worldview.

Not only does this view support the idea that Christianity is related to all disciplines, but it also supports the view that all disciplines are related to each other. As Schaeffer noted, theology tends to reflect the general culture, culture tends to reflect the idea present in contemporary music and art, and all of them can usually be traced back to philosophical ideas which have simply been integrated by the other disciplines. The Interdisciplinary Studies program at my own school (Lincoln Christian College) was spawned by these two ideas, and it still attempts to show how some disciplines are related (unfortunately they usually only cover art, music, and literature in any given period), although its original emphasis on relating Christianity to all the disciples seems to have waned greatly in recent years.

Poe calls for Christian professors who realize the integration of Christianity and other disciplines to step forward and teach Christianly within their field. He does not say that a biologist should start preaching to his biology class. He simply says that the biologist should teach biology from a Christian perspective. As C. S. Lewis said, "What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects--with their Christianity latent."

Understanding the relatedness of disciplines is essential to properly understanding any field which one may aspire to teach in at any level of higher academics. If, say, one wanted to teach in the field of theology, being able to grasp how theology takes its themes from philosophical, scientific, etc. issues of the day is vital to properly understanding the theological views of people in cultures and times different than our own. To understand the classical liberalists' theology we must understand the philosophical and scientific issues that were being raised in their culture at that time -- issues like naturalism and the mechanistic model of the universe taken from Newton's scientific discoveries.

Then, in order to be able to really teach theology to students so that they can truly understand the history of theology, we must be able to tell them how differing theological ideas arose in different times and places, and be able to explain the extent to which other disciplines influenced the development of theology through the ages. When this idea of ties between disciplines is lost, a field such as theology becomes largely unintelligible. Great men of the past end up looking silly, until we begin to understand what in their world was driving them to come up with what appear to us today to be extremely odd views. In order to understand historical theology, and contemporary theology, we must be able to trace its roots, and its roots are hardly ever so shallow that they do not stray into other disciplines.

Overall grade: A
Recommended for personal contemplation  Jun 12, 2004
Christianity In The Academy: Teaching At The Intersection Of Faith And Learning distills the wisdom of author Harry Lee Poe (Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture, Union University), who also serves as the program director for the C. S. Lewis Foundation's Summer Institutes, a training resource on faith and scholarship issues especially for Christian Faculty. Wrestling with serious issues confronting Christian educators in institutions of higher learning, Christianity In The Academy touches upon the Christian worldview, interdisciplinary dialogue, the religious spectrum that can be found in higher education, the repercussions of the postmodern age, and much more. Tackling difficult dilemmas of faith and academics seemingly at odds, Christianity In The Academy is an opinionated but thoughtful resource recommended for personal contemplation among college educators of all levels who share a common bond through faith in Jesus Christ.

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