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Passionate Intellect, The: Incarnational Humanism and the Future of University Education [Paperback]

By Jens Zimmermann (Author) & Norman Klassen (Author)
Our Price $ 18.70  
Retail Value $ 22.00  
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Item Number 51015  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.66" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.61"
Weight:   0.57 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2006
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801027349  
EAN  9780801027345  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Chronicles the development of the intellectual culture of the Western university and proposes an approach to university education that "keeps faith" with central Christian doctrines.

Publishers Description
Too often Christian college students feel they must either downplay their faith or stick to a small circle of like-minded friends and organizations. Somewhere along the way assumptions have taken root that intellectual university life and Christian faith cannot be synthesized.
Klassen and Zimmermann assert that much is at stake for the young university student. A worldview takes a lasting shape and faith is usually discovered, deepened, or discarded during a collegiate journey. This new work is designed to give students, parents, and other interested readers a guide to the intellectual culture of the modern university and its contribution to society, helping them to realize the power of the university's influence and discover how to connect Christian belief to cutting-edge thinking.

Community Description
Explores the relationship between university education and Christian living and thinking.

Table Of Contents


Part 1 Clearing the Ground
1 Can Christians Think?

Part 2 The Story of Humanism from Its Holistic Medieval Beginnings to Postmodern Fragmentation
2 A Holistic Beginning: Medieval Humanism
3 Letter and Spirit: Literary Humanism
4 Secular Scientific Humanism
5 Dare to Think! Enlightenment Humanism and Dualism
6 The Birth of the Humanities: Giambattista Vico's Critique of the Enlightenment
7 Non-Christian Criticism of Enlightenment Humanism

Part 3 Postmodernism and Humanism
8 Postmodern Humanism
9 Postmodern Antihumanism and the University
10 Incarnational Humanism

Part 4 Applying Incarnational Humanism
11 Incarnational Humanism and Common Grace
12 Conclusion

Suggested Further Reading
Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.

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More About Jens Zimmermann & Norman Klassen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Norman Klassen (D.Phil., University of Oxford) is associate professor of English at St. Jerome's University in Waterloo, Ontario. He is the author of "Chaucer on Love, Knowledge, and Sight."
Jens Zimmermann (Ph.D., University of British Columbia) is professor of English and modern languages and Canadian Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion, and Culture at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. He is the author of "Recovering Theological Hermeneutics: An Incarnational-Trinitarian Theory of Interpretation."

Norman Klassen was born in 1962.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
"All Truth is God's Truth," Wonderfully Contextualized  Mar 27, 2007
This book is explores the themes of whether, and how, Christians can develop a rich and passionate life of the mind. Although it is written for Christian students bound for university, it is useful for any Christian who is serious about the intellectual life.

One of the authors' goals is to defuse the "warfare" mentality concerning faith and "secular" learning that some Christians, particularly those who are not very mature in the faith, often seem to develop. They propose to do this through the model of "Incarnational Humanism."

"Incarnational Humanism" takes the incarnation of Christ as a starting point for a Christian approach to learning. "In Christ," the authors state, "all fragmentation ends and a new humanity begins, a new creation in which all knowledge is united (or taken captive, as Paul puts it) under the lordship of Christ because in him the divine and the human are firmly joined forever." The pattern of the incarnation suggests that we should expect to find that truth is not "an abstract, timeless concept," but rather is mediated through human language, culture, and tradition. Therefore, Christians should not be afraid of truth located outside the hermetically sealed world of our particular religious subcultures.

In short, the authors place a Kuyperian notion of "common grace," as mediated for generations of Christian college students by Arthur Holmes' famous dictum that "All Truth is God's Truth," into the postmodern context. While the authors thus acknowledge the postmodern turn, they firmly deny the destructive Nietzschean postmodernism, evident in figures such as Michael Foucault, that rejects any notion of classical humanism in favor of a heuristic of power relationships.

The answer the authors suggest to Nietzsche and Foucault, however, is not a resurgent Christian rationalism dusted off from the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. Rather, they hearken back to the sort of humanism that is evident in many of the Church's great minds, such as Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin, prior to the Enlightenment. In this classical Christian humanism, truth is more than power - indeed, truth in many ways is the antithesis of power - because the divine Truth became man and gave himself for us.

There are many riches in this book. The phrase "Incarnational Humanism" is a beautiful one that deserves broad attention, and it is high time that "All Truth is God's Truth" be given a postmodern reading. There is also, however, a glaring weakness in the authors' arguments: they do not deal adequately with the effects of sin. A model of truth that hearkens back to Augustine, but that glides over any reading of Augustine's thoughts on sin, will not present a thoroughly Christian humanism.

I wish the authors had acknowledged the tension between the incarnation and human sinfulness, and had contextualized it, as scripture and the Christian humanist tradition do, within the "already / not yet" of the Kingdom of God. Nevertheless, this is a valuable addition to the literature on the intellectual life as a Christian vocation. Let us hope that a holistic, incarnational understanding of faith and learning once again infuses the Church, rather than the rationalist, atomistic, confrontational approaches that so often seem to dominate our thinking.


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