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Posts by Joe Creech

From the Colloquium, Graduate Fellows Edition

Since 2006, the Lilly Fellows Program  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-seven 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 Seventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, who began graduate school and the program in fall 2014 and who just completed their three year program, read and discussed materials focused, in the fall, on the theme “God’s Gift and Our Response” and in the spring on the theme, “Fulfilling our Vocations in God’s World.” The Seventh Cohort’s mentors are Paul Contino of Pepperdine University and Susan Felch of Calvin College. To explore these topics, the Seventh Cohort selected Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov as a spine text for both semesters.  In both the fall and spring they supplemented Dostoevsky’s text with Fritz Eichenberg’s, Lithographs for The Brothers Karamazov and Rowan Williams’, Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction. In addition, the fall the cohort read: Margaret Kenna, “Icons in Theory and Practice” (History of Religions, Vol. 24, No. 4 [May, 1985]: 345-368); Oleg Komkov, “The Vertical Form”; articles by Leonid Ouspensky and Vladimir Lossky in The Meaning of Icons; Marilynne Robinson’s, “Facing Reality” from The Death of Adam, Eleonore Stump’s, “Second-Person Accounts and the Problem of Evil” (Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia [Oct. – Dec., 2001]: 745-771); Charles Taylor’s, “God Loveth Adverbs” from Sources of the Self, Simone Weil’s, “The Love of our Neighbor” from Waiting for God, and essays by Paul J. Contino on Zosima (“Zosima, Mikhail, and Prosaic Confessional Dialogue in Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov,” Studies in the Novel, Vol 27, No. 1 [spring 1995]: 63-86), Alyosha (“The Prudential Alyosha Karamazov: The Russian Realist from a Catholic Perspective,” in Dostoevsky and Christianity: Art, Faith, and Dialogue in a special volume of Dostoevsky Monographs, Volume VI. Ed. Jordi Morillas [St. Petersburg, Russia: Dmitry Bulanin]. 2015), Ivan (“’Descend That You May Ascend’: Augustine, Dostoevsky, and the Confessions of Ivan Karamazov,” in Augustine and Literature, ed. Robert P. Kennedy, Kim Paffenroth, and John Doody, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield), and Mitya (“Incarnational Realism and the Case of Casuistry: Dmitry Karamazov’s Escape” in Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov: Art, Creativity, and Spirituality, ed. Predrag Cicovacki and Maria Granik, Heidelberg, 2010).  They also listened to Sacred Treasures: Choral Masterworks from Russia. In the spring, and in preparation for a final conference in Krakow, Poland, the cohort viewed the film, Ida, and read Bruce Berglund’s, “Drafting a historical Geography of East European Christianity” in Christianity and Modernity in Eastern Europe, ed. Bruce R. Berglund and Brian A. Porter; Don DeGraaf’s, There and Back: Living and Learning Abroad, Mary Douglas, Á Feeling for Hierarchy”; C. S. Lewis’s, “Meditation in a Toolshed”; Czeslaw Milosz’s, To Begin Where I Am and poems; selections from Parker Palmer’s, The Courage to Teach; selections from David Smith and Susan Felch’s, Teaching and Christian Imagination; Timothy Steele’s, “An Ordinary Life in Academe”; selections from Hans Urs von Balthasar, Love Alone is Credible, Susan VanZanten’s, Joining the Mission; George Wiegel’s, City of Saints, Elie Wiesel’s, Night, and Adam Zagajewski, A Defense of Ardor and poems.

Members of the Eighth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, who began graduate work in fall, 2015, addressed the topic, “Teaching as a Christian Vocation” in fall, 2016, and the topic, “Protestants and Catholics in Conversation,” in spring, 2017. The Mentors for the Eighth Cohort are Patrick Byrne of Boston College and Susan VanZanten of Seattle Pacific University. To grapple with the fall topic, the cohort read: Augustine’s, The First Catechetical Instruction; Ken Bain, What the Best College Teachers Do (which many cohorts have used); St. Basil, “Address to Young Men on the Right Use of Greek Literature”; Patrick Byrne, “Paradigms of Justice and Love” in Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education (Spring, 1995); selections from John Calvin’s Institutes; Karen Eifler and Thomas M. Landy, Becoming Beholders (winner of the 2015 LFP Book Award); various readings by Stanley Fish on the role of moral formation (or lack thereof) in higher education; Ron Kirkemo, “At the Lectern Between Jerusalem and Sarajevo” in Teaching as an Act of Faith, ed. Arlin Migliazzo; selections from Parker Palmer’s, The Courage to Teach; Mark Roche, “Should Faculty Members Teach Virtues and Values?” (another piece often read by the Graduate Fellows); Susan VanZanten, Joining the Mission: A Guide for (Mostly) New Faculty, and selections from Mark R. Schwehn, ed,.  Everyone a Teacher, and Nicholas Wolterstorff, Educating for Shalom: Essays on Christian Higher Education. To explore the way different groups of Protestants and Catholics have approached issues of faith and reason, the cohort read: Justo L. González’s, The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day (vol. 2); selections from Denis R. Janz, A Reformation Reader; St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans; N.T. Wright, “Romans and the Theology of Paul” in Pauline Theology, Vol. III, ed. David M. Hay & E. Elizabeth Johnson, 1995; numerous literary, theological, and artistic primary sources from the Reformation era; Fleming, “How Ignatian Spirituality Gives Us a Way to Discern God’s Will”; selected poems by Julia Kasdorf; Brad S. Gregory, “Why the Reformation Still Matters (Whether We Want It To or Not)” (presented at the 2016 LFP Annual National Conference); and Dale Van Kley, “Where the Rot Started?” Review of Brad S. Gregory’s The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society.

The members of the Ninth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, who completed the first year of their fellowship and who began their graduate studies in the fall of 2016, have been mentored by Douglas Henry of Baylor University and Gretchen J. Van Dyke of The University of Scranton. The themes for the fall and spring were “In Search of the Way: Ordering our Lives and Loves” and “Taking the Upward Way: True Love, Liberty, and Saintliness,” respectively.  The “spine” text for the fall was Dante’s Inferno, and the group supplemented this text with selections from Jones, L. Gregory and Stephanie Paulsell’s The Scope of Our Art: The Vocation of the Theological Teacher, which has been a standard text for most of the Graduate Fellows, and they also engaged the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Mary Oliver. The “spine” text for the spring was Dante’s Purgatorio, which almost all the cohorts of Lilly Graduate Fellows have engaged as a text that works trough the aims and activities of teaching, moral formation, and the particular vices associated with intellectual work.  The cohort members supplemented this text with Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung’s Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies, which numerous cohorts have found helpful, and they again read the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Mary Oliver.

Posted by Joe Creech


Registration Open for Lilly Fellows Program Regional Conference: Reason and Faith on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

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Registration Open for Lilly Fellows Program Regional Conference: Reason and Faith on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

October 13-14, 2017 at Central College in Pella, Iowa

Registration is now open for “Reason and Faith on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation,” will take place October 13-14, 2017 on the Central College campus in Pella, Iowa. This conference brings together five keynote speakers from a variety of Christian denominations to discuss the relation of reason and faith as it is understood in both the academy and Church over the past five hundred years. Speakers include:

  • John Baxter (Dalhousie University — Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  • Christina Bieber Lake (Wheaton College — Wheaton, IL )
  • Jennifer Hockenberry Dragseth (Mt. Mary University — Milwaukee, WI)
  • Douglas Kries (Gonzaga University — Spokane, WA)
  • Albert Wolters (Redeemer University College — Ancaster, Ontario)

For registration and further information, visit the conference website at:

The deadline for registration is Sept. 20.


Call for applications: Teaching Christian Intellectual Tradition Summer Institute on “Virgil and the Modern Christian Imagination”

Virgil and the Modern Christian Imagination

July 9-14, 2017

Samford University’s Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition Project seeks to promote a national conversation about the place of the Christian intellectual tradition in higher education. In particular, it is interested in helping faculty from across the disciplines to develop effective strategies for teaching this tradition, cultivating younger scholars who are still mastering their craft while providing opportunities for more experienced faculty to explore and experiment with new pedagogies. Under the leadership of the University Fellows Program and in partnership with local and national organizations, the TCIT Project hosts conferences, seminars, speakers and roundtables throughout the year, including a biennial national conference and a biennial residential summer institute.

The 2017 TCIT Summer Institute is on the theme, Virgil and the Modern Christian Imagination, led Dr. Bryan Johnson (Director & Professor, University Fellows), Dr. Christopher Metress (University Professor), and Dr. Shannon Flynt (Assistant Professor of Classics).

In “What is a Classic?” (1944), T.S. Eliot boldly claimed that Virgil stands “at the centre of European civilization, in a position which no other poet can share or usurp.” For Eliot, the “great ghost who guided Dante’s pilgrimage” and “led Europe towards the Christian culture which he could never know” should always guide the West because he produced not just a “universal classic,” but the “classic of all Europe.”

“Virgil and the Modern Christian Imagination” will provide faculty from across the disciplines the opportunity to explore the influence of Virgil on twentieth-century Christian poets and intellectuals, and to discuss strategies for teaching that influence to today’s undergraduates. Designed primarily for non-specialists, the seminar will open with a discussion of the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the Aeneid, and then turn to twentieth-century writers indebted to Virgil, including, but not limited to, Eliot, Haecker, Tate, Auden, Radnóti, Heaney, and Boland.

Hosted by the University Fellows Program at Samford University, these summer seminars place great value on collegiality and collaboration, combining intellectual rigor with southern hospitality. The seminar welcomes a mix of early-, mid-, and late-career faculty, and seeks to build lasting relationships that will promote teaching excellence and enrich our students’ understanding of the Christian Intellectual Tradition.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Hull Fund for Christian Scholarship, registration for the seminar is $50. Participants are responsible for the cost of their travel to and from campus, with housing, meals, course materials, and off-campus excursions covered by the University Fellows Program.

To apply, please send a short c.v. (2-3 pages) and a 250-word statement of interest to Dr. Bryan Johnson at Both documents should be sent as attachments, and the statement of interest should discuss how this seminar is important to your professional development.

Space is limited, and the deadline is May 1, 2017. All applicants will be notified by May 15.

Posted by Joe Creech

Call for Papers: 2017 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture: The Bible and the Reformation

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2017 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture

The Bible and The Reformation

Co-sponsored by the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion and Westminster Theological Seminary

Proposal Deadline Extended:

The deadline for proposal submissions has been extended to June 15, 2017

Quick Facts

  • Dates: Wednesday, October 25-Friday, October 27, 2017
  • Location: Baylor University, Waco, Texas
  • Deadline for Proposals: April 1, 2017

Web Site:

Conference Description and Call for Proposals

The year 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the European Reformation, a time of incalculable significance for the history of Christianity. This was the decisive moment at which the Bible was translated into the leading European languages. Beyond its obvious religious implications, the Reformation’s Bible must be credited as the source and origin of so many aspects of life that we too often take for granted: for a sense of individualism, for the development of language and education, for national as much as religious identity. Did the new Bible indeed, as some have claimed, grant tongues of fire to those who had been voiceless in previous societies? To borrow the famous words of author John Buchan, just what was this new thing called the Gospel, which some called “a fetter to bind the poor” and others “a club to beat the rich”? How, in short, has it created the cultures we know today, both religious and secular? Above all, we must explore the issue of memory. How has the actual experience of the original Reformation been remembered in academic and popular culture? What are its legacies in literature and cinema, academic scholarship, and fiction? Which of its great moments and characters have we ignored or underplayed? Which elements have fallen into undeserved oblivion? What remains to be rediscovered?

Join us as we explore these questions during the 2017 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, “The Bible and The Reformation,” on October 25-27, 2017.

Proposals for individual papers, panel discussions, and responses to current books are welcome. Abstracts of no more than 750 words should be submitted by April 1, 2017 online at

Possible topics include:

  • The Reformation in Music and the Visual Arts
  • The Influence of the Radical Reformation
  • Literature and the Bible
  • Politics, the State, and the Reformation
  • Global Perspectives
  • Shifting Historiographies of the Reformation
  • Vocation in Catholic and Protestant Thought
  • The Rise of Ecumenism
  • The Bible and Language
  • Sociology, Economics, and Reformation Thought
  • The Bible and Marginalized Voices

To see videos of plenary lectures and panel sessions from previous conferences, please visit THE IFL VIMEO PAGE


Institute for Faith and Learning
One Bear Place #97270
Waco, TX 76798-7270
254-710-1725 (fax)


Register for Upcoming Conference, Georgetown College: World Without End: The New Shape of World Christianity

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.

For Conference Web Site, Click Here

To Register, Click Here

To Ask a Question, Click Here

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