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From the Colloquium, Graduate Fellows Edition

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. These works can be of great value for mentoring programs or faculty development projects at different campuses (or to add to your own reading lists).

Common readings and group discussion have been central to the Lilly Fellows Program’s (LFP) fellowship programs from their start twenty-six 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. Here are some of those readings.

The members of the Sixth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, who began graduate school and the program in fall 2013 and who just completed their three year program, read and discussed materials focused, in the fall, on the theme “’There Lives the Dearest Freshness Deep Down Things’: Recovering Christian Particularity in a Secular Academy.” The Sixth Cohort’s mentors are Jane Kelley Rodeheffer of Pepperdine University and Arlin Migliazzo of Whitworth University. To explore the topic, the Sixth Cohort read: Gilead, by Marilyn Robinson, Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, perennial favorite Susan VanZanten’s Joining the Mission, Mark Noll and James Turner, The Future of Christian Learning: An Evangelical and Catholic Dialogue (Thomas A. Howard, Editor), and selections from George Marsden’s Twilight of American Enlightenment. These main readings were accompanied by the following shorter works: Joel Carpenter, “The Christian Scholar in an Age of World Christianity”; Mary Douglas, “A Feeling for Hierarchy”; Paul Griffiths, “Seeking Egyptian Gold: A Fundamental Metaphor for the Christian Intellectual Life in a Religiously Diverse Age” (The Cresset 63:7, 2000: 30-35); Eric Gregory, “Beyond Public Reason: Love, Sin, and Augustinian Civic Virtue” from Politics and the Order of Love: An Augustinian Ethic of Democratic Citizenship; C.S. Lewis, “The Inner Ring,” and Cornell West, “Critical Theory and Christian Faith” from Prophetic Fragments. In the spring, the cohort shared readings contributed by the Fellows.

The members of the Seventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, who completed the second year of their fellowship and who began their graduate studies in the fall of 2014, have been mentored by Paul Contino of Pepperdine University and Susan Felch of Calvin College. The themes for the fall and spring were “The Virtuous Learner” and “The Virtuous Teacher,” respectively.  The “spine” text for the fall was Dante’s Purgatorio and for the spring was Dante’s Paradiso. The group supplemented these texts with selections from Calvin’s Institutes; Bruce Cole’s Giotto: The Scrovegni Chapel, Padua; Rebecca DeYoung’s Glittering Vices; Josef Pieper’s The Four Cardinal Virtues and Faith, Hope, and Love; selections from Miroslav Volf and Dorothy C. Bass, Practicing Theology: Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life; Rowan Williams’ Ponder These Things: Praying with Icons of the Virgin; Rod Dreher’s, How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem; Joseph Luzzi’s, In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love; James Elkins’ Pictures and Tears, Jean Leclercq, The Love of learning and the Desire for God; Basil the Great’s “Address to Young Men on the Right Use of Greek Literature”; Paul Griffiths’, “Seeking Egyptian Gold: A Fundamental Metaphor for the Christian Intellectual Life in a Religiously Diverse Age” (The Cresset 63:7, 2000: 30-35), and Jeanne Heffernan’s “The Art of Teaching and the Christian Vocation” in Michael R. Miller, ed., Doing More with Life: Connecting Christian Higher Education to a Call for Service.  The works by DeYoung, Williams, Elkins, and Leclercq have been perennial favorites of both the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program and the Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows Program.

Members of the Eighth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, who began graduate work in fall, 2015, addressed the topic, “The Proper use of Study” in fall, 2015, and the topic, “Sustaining Practices for the Christian Scholar,” in spring, 2016. The Mentors for the Eighth Cohort are Patrick Byrne of Boston College and Susan VanZanten of Seattle Pacific University.  To grapple with the topics, the cohort used as its “spine” text Augustine’s Confessions, and it also read selections from Miroslav Volf and Dorothy C. Bass, Practicing Theology: Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life, selections from Paulsell and L. Gregory Jones, The Scope of Our Art (one of the central books in all our colloquia), and from Dorothy C. Bass and Susan R. Briehl, On Our Way: Christian Practices for Living a Whole Life. The also read Simone Weil’s classic, “Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies” in Waiting for God, Paul Griffiths’ Intellectual Appetite: A Theological Grammar; John Williams’ Stoner; Phyllis Tickle’s (ed.) The Divine Hours; Dorothy C. Bass’ “Keeping Sabbath” in her Practicing Our Faith; Abraham Joshua Heschel’s classic, The Sabbath; Rowan Williams’ Ponder These Things: Praying with Icons of the Virgin; James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation; Mark Schwehn’s, Exiles from Eden; selections from Aquinas’ Summa, and Brian E. Daley, “’To Be More Like Christ’: The Background and Implications of ‘Three Kinds of Humility,’” in Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits, 27/1 (January 1995), 1–39.

Posted by Joe Creech


Call for Proposals: World Without End: The New Shape of World Christianity

Call for Proposals

World Without End:

The New Shape of World Christianity

The character of Christianity is changing rapidly as its center shifts to the Global South. African and Asian Christian communities are thriving in contexts of pluralism, immigration, and political repression. New theologies are  also emerging in these communities, expanding and challenging traditions. This conference explores the dynamics of change in the Body of Christ with the waning cohesion of Western and North American Christianity and the emerging need for new practices for participating in the living and growing community of Christian faith.

Suggested topics for 
paper or panel proposals:

  • How does the rise of Global South Christianity affect leadership in Protestant denominations and Catholics?
  • What challenges and opportunities for theological and pastoral education attend the next Christendom?
  • What historical precursors provide guidance or insight to this time of change in Christianity?
  • How might an emerging understanding of Christian missions, evangelism, and theology enrich Western and Northern Christianity, especially in terms of pluralism and multi-faith communities?
  • What political/religious conditions are most threatening or promising in this changing religious landscape?
  • How can Christians navigate the wealth divide between North and South, especially considering the impact of immigration and travel?
  • How can local churches best educate their members on the thriving areas of Christianity in order to support and encourage their global neighbors?
  • What can local congregations learn from Christians in the Global South?
  • What practices will build Christian unity in the global community?


We invite proposals for presentations and panels, 750 words maximum with author(s) contact information and institutional affiliation, from all interested ministers, scholars, community organizers of all faiths and traditions.

Proposals are due
September 15, 2016. Decisions by October 1, 2016.


Conference Website: 

To submit a proposal or ask questions, email:

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