The Fall, 2013 edition of Update, the newsletter of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, has arrived. You can read it here.
Posted by Joe Creech
Over at the blog The Immanent Frame, editor Danny Jenkins, also a Ph.D. Candidate in Modern European History at Columbia University and a Lilly Graduate Fellow, announces a forum on Brad Gregory’s The Unintended Reformation. Read further for Jenkins’ description of the forum and invitation to read the first installation by James Chappel. Future installations will come from Victoria Kahn, Peter Gordon, John Milbank, Adrain Pabst, James Kameron Carter, Ian Hunter, Peter Malysz, and Paul Peterson.
The last decade or so has seen a steady stream of publications seeking to cast light on the religious and theological origins of modernity. Motivated by a conviction that established accounts of enlightenment, secularization, and modernization can only partially explain the contemporary state of affairs and seeking to compensate for what they perceive as a narrowly biased historical perspective, their authors call attention to the roles that theology and religion have played in shaping modern societies, politics, and human self-understanding.
Much of this literature is driven by an evident dissatisfaction with the present and with the failure of modernity to live up to its promise of an emancipated and happy humanity. The Unintended Reformation is in keeping with this spirit. The occlusion of any substantive common good, the triumph of capitalism, consumerism, and individualism—all of these oft-cited ills however, Gregory interprets as long-term effects of the Protestant Reformation in particular. In sundering the order that once bound societies in the West together, the Reformation gave way to a complex web of rejections, reconfigurations, and transformations of medieval Christianity, he argues, in which one can still glimpse the fragmentary traces of a more coherent and less alienated past.
Can the social and political ills of modern societies indeed be understood as more or less direct, if unforeseeable, consequences of the Protestant Reformation? What is the contemporary import of thinking of modernity as the degradation of an earlier, more wholesome age? What sort of philosophical or theological premises underlie Gregory’s understanding of how history happens? How are political and socioeconomic factors to be incorporated into his account of modernization? Finally, to what degree is Gregory’s thesis in fact a novel one? How might his work fit into broader historical patterns of interpreting the relationship between modernity and its past?
Intrigued by these questions, over the next few weeks the Immanent Frame will be hosting a forum dedicated to Gregory’s Unintended Reformation.
Posted by Joe Creech
Since 2006, the Lilly Fellows Program Director has published a “From the Colloquium” column about four times per year. The idea behind this column is to share some of the common readings from the colloquia of the Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows Program and the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program.
Common readings and group discussion have been integral to the Lilly Fellows Program’s (LFP) fellowship programs from their start over twenty years ago. First with the Lilly Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship program at Valparaiso University starting in 1992 and then with the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program in 2008, Fellows have encountered readings intended to engage Christian thought and practice as they intersect the tasks of teaching and scholarship that make up the work we do in the academy. The readings address these issues on both the personal and institutional level, examining our individual practices as scholars as well as those of our academic institutions (with, of course, a special emphasis on those institutions of higher learning that connect to a church-related mission).
Once a year, we focus on the readings that the three active cohorts of Lilly Graduate Fellows discuss. These Fellows are in their first three years of Graduate school, each semester, the Lilly Graduate Fellow cohorts select readings that cluster around a particular theme.
So, without further ado, here are some of those readings.
The third cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, which began graduate school and the program in fall 2010 and who just completed their three year program, read and discussed materials focused on the theme “Scholarship as a Christian Vocation.” Many of the readings came from classic authors such as William Perkins, Ignatius of Loyola, Christine de Pizan, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, John Wesley, George Herbert, and are bound together in William C. Placher’s Callings: Twenty Centuries of Christian Wisdom on Vocation, a great reference for primary readings on the subject. The cohort also read Paul J. Griffith’s commentary on The Song of Songs, George Marsden’s classic work, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship, essays by Charles Taylor (“A Catholic Modernity?”) and Rosemary Luling–Haughton (“Transcendence and the Bewilderment of Being Modern”), both in A Catholic Modernity?: Charles Taylor’s Marianist Award Lecture, edited by James Heft. Members of the cohort also brought selections from their own disciplines, including the following: selections from Jaroslav Pelikan, The Vindication of Tradition and John Henry Newman, “What is a University?”; Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Letter to the Retreat Masters; Stanley Hauerwas and Ralph Wood, “How the Church Became Invisible: A Christian Reading of American Literary Tradition” (Religion and Literature, 38:1, Spring 2006); selections from Tracy Fessenden, Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature; Darin Davis and Paul Wadell, “Tracking the Toxins of Acedia: Re-envisioning Moral Education,” in The Schooled Heart: Moral Formation and American Higher Education, Beaty and Henry, eds.; selections from Joseph Pieper’s classic, Leisure: The Basis of Culture (a work that has circulated among both fellowships for some time); selections from Thomas Chesnes and Samuel Joeckel (eds.), The Christian College Phenomenon; Eric Voegelin, “The Gospel and Culture,” in Voegelin, Published Essays, 1966-1985; Patrick Colm Hogan, “Literature, God, and the Unbearable Solitude of Consciousness” in Journal of Consciousness Studies, 11: 5-6, May-June 2004; Alvin Plantinga, “Advice to Christian Philosophers”; selections from Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed; Bruno Latour, “‘Thou Shall Not Freeze-Frame’ or How Not to Misunderstand the Science and Religion Debate” in Science, Religion, and the Human Experience, ed. James D. Proctor; selections from Terry Pratchett, Unseen Academicals; selections from W. S. Merwin, “La Pia”; and selections from Erec Rebillard, Christians and Their Many Identities in Late Antiquity, North Africa, 200–450 CE.
Graduate Fellows Cohort 4, whose members completed their second year in the program, read books in fall, 2012, focused on the theme “Realism and Calling,” and spent the semester reading through Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (Pevear translation), which a number of the Graduate Fellow cohorts have done over the summer for summer conferences or across a semester (a number of cohorts have done the same with Augustine’s Confessions and one of the three books from Dante’s Divine Comedy–especially Purgatorio). Accompanying their reading of The Brothers Karamazov were: Eleonore Stump, “Second-Person Accounts and the Problem of Evil” (Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia, Vol. 57, 2001); Rowan Williams, Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction; Rowan Williams, Ponder these Thing: Praying with Icons of the Virgin, and Ralph Wood, “Ivan Karamazov’s Mistake: A Re-Reading of the Grand Inquisitor” in First Things, Dec. 2002. The Fellows especially enjoyed the two works by Rowan Williams, both of which have been enjoyed by other Graduate Fellows cohorts. In spring, 2013, the fourth cohort focused on the theme, “Being a Teacher/Scholar as a Way of Life and as a Calling.” Readings included: St. Augustine, The First Catechetical Instruction; Stephanie Paulsell, “Writing as a Spiritual Discipline” and Paul Griffiths, “Reading as a Spiritual Discipline” in Gregory Jones and Stephanie Paulsell, eds. The Scope of our Art (two works that have become classics with the Postdoctoral and Graduate Fellows); Susan VanZanten, Joining the Mission; Bonnie Miller-McLemore, “Contemplation in the Midst of Chaos” and Paul Wadell, “Teaching as a Ministry of Hope,” both in Jones and Paulsell, The Scope of our Art; several essays in Teaching as an Act of Faith, ed. Arlin Migliazzo; excerpts from John Henry Cardinal Newman’s The Idea of a University; Aaron Posner “My Name is Asher Lev” (a play adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok), and Andrew Delbanco, College: What It Was, Is and Should Be, which the Postdoctoral Fellows have also read and enjoyed.
Graduate Fellows in Cohort 5 began their three-year fellowship last fall. As have several of the cohorts, Cohort 5 began the program by focusing on the theme of “Hospitality” in fall, 2012. Many of the primary source readings from the Christian theological tradition on the subject of hospitality came from Amy G. Oden, And You Welcomed Me, and Benedicta Ward, Trans., The Desert Fathers. These readings meshed with Christine Pohl, Making Room, Augustine’s Confessions, The Rule of Benedict, the film, Of Gods and Men, and selections from Kathleen Norris, Acedia and Me. The cohort also worked through the Psalms using John D. Witvliet and Martin Tel, eds. Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship. In the spring, the cohort focused on the theme, “The Intellect and Affections, ´beginning with a favorite of the Graduate Fellows, James Elkins’ Pictures and Tears, in which Elkins grapples with the way the academic study of art history affected his engagement of art at intellectual and emotional levels. The cohort continued to work through Confessions and other works of the early church while also reading selections from Jean Leclercq’s The Love of Learning and the Desire for God. The works by Benedictines and Kathleen Norris anticipated their first conference at Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, MN.
Posted by Joe Creech
We heard from Kristin George Bagdanov, one of our Lilly Graduate Fellows (the Fifth Cohort) about an art auction that she is directing for Ruminate Magazine. The purpose of the auction is to raise funds for the magazine, which is a non-profit quarterly magazine.
See below the press release that Kristin sent us and check out the art!
Posted by Mary Beth Fraser Connolly
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 3, 2013
CONTACT: Kristin George Bagdanov, Fundraising Director
FORT COLLINS, CO—Ruminate Magazine launched its 7×7 Jubilee Art Auction on September 1st, available athttp://www.ruminatemagazine.com/jubilee-7×7-art-auction
Forty-five pieces of art went up for auction on September 1st as part of Ruminate Magazine’s 7×7 Jubilee Art Auction. Ruminate is a non-profit quarterly magazine of short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction, and visual art that resonate with the complexity and truth of the Christian faith. The 7×7 celebrates Ruminate’s 7th year of publication.
Kristin George Bagdanov (Westmont College ‘09), a current Lilly Graduate Fellow, serves as fundraising director for Ruminate and organized the 7×7. In addition to Westmont College, with which 19 of the 45 participating artists are associated, two other Lilly Network Schools—Union College and Gordon College—are represented amongst the participating artists in the auction.
The auction page can be found at http://www.ruminatemagazine.com/jubilee-7×7-art-auction; bidding for all pieces starts at $7. The auction will close at 8pm on September 14th during Ruminate’s Jubilee Dinner celebration in Fort Collins, which will exhibit all 45 of the 7×7 inch pieces.