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Posts by Joe Creech

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

An International Seminar in Orvieto Italy, December 30, 2016-January 14, 2017, Sponsored By Gordon College; Call for Applications

Call for applications for Adult Learners;
Deadline is October 24, 2016

An International Seminar in Orvieto Italy, December 30, 2016-January 14, 2017 sponsored by the Center for Faith and Inquiry at Gordon College in Wenham, MA and the Studio for Art, Faith, and History.

The Theme for the Seminar is:  Harmony in the Cosmos?: Exploration in Western Music, Art and Architecture.

Seminar Description:
In the classical world, music was one of the basic subjects of liberal arts education. The mathematical harmonies of music were understood as the key to the structure of the cosmos and to the well-being of communities and individuals – as well as to the formal beauty and inspirational effect of architecture and the arts. The January 2017 Winter Seminar (a) explores this central role of Music in classical and early Christian thought, (b) studies its relation to the actual practice of architecture, the visual arts, and music, and (c) compares pre-modern understanding of the nature and effect of music with that of our own time.

Dr. Graeme Bird
Dr. John Skillen

For More information and to apply, click here .

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


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