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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

 

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

 

From the Colloquium, June 2016

“From the Colloquium” reports on the colloquium on vocation, Christianity, and higher learning that takes place in the two fellowship programs in the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts:  the two-year, residential Postdoctoral Fellowship at Valparaiso University, and the three-year fellowship for current graduate students, the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program.

In this final edition for academic year 2015/2016, I’ll provide an overview of the works the Postdoctoral Fellows read in spring, 2016.

The primary question guiding the spring 2016 colloquium was: “What are the practices and ideas about education that I and my students bring to the classroom?” The readings focused on specific questions regarding the general aim of teaching in the liberal arts and the specific aims of day-to-day course organization, preparation, and execution in light of Christian theology and practice.

The colloquium opened with Julie Reuben’s classic essay, “The University and Its Discontents,” in The Hedgehog Review (Fall, 2000), which looks at the marginalization of the moral aims of education in the modern research university in the US generally and the relegation of these aims to the humanities specifically in the middle of the twentieth century. The colloquium read Reuben’s work alongside O.P. Kretzmann’s 1940 presidential inaugural address to Valparaiso University as a case study of the trends she identifies.

From these more general themes, the colloquium then took up the question of whether professors should aim at some kind of moral formation in the classroom itself. The colloquium read first Stanley Fish’s Save the World on Your Own Time and Gilbert Meilaender’s essay, “Education and Soulcraft,” which argue, from different starting points, that university curricula (and, professors specifically) are ill equipped to offer any kind of moral formation in the classroom and should aim instead to foster the learning of information which students can’t otherwise obtain. Mark Schwehn, in his forthcoming “Good Teaching: Character Formation and Vocational Discernment” (David Cunningham, ed., Vocation Across the Academy) offers a counterargument that all teaching and learning necessarily involve moral formation (avoiding plagiarism, for example), and so professors should think carefully about what kind of moral formation takes place in their classrooms.

The colloquium next turned to Paul J. Griffiths’ “Reading as a Spiritual Discipline,” in Jones and Paulsell, The Scope of Our Art: The Vocation of the Theological Teacher, and David I. Smith’s “Reading Practices and Christian Pedagogy,” in Smith and Smith, Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith & Learning, both of which examine whether Christian theological commitments or practices should inform the way we read or teach students to read. Both think it should and offer a critique of consumerist reading that aims at mastery of a passive text against a hermeneutic of Christian charity and humility that treats a text as a conversation partner and reading as an opportunity for formation. The colloquium also discussed Richard Wilbur’s poem, “The Reader.” The following week the colloquium discussed how to read and teach Andres Dubus’ short story, “A Father’s Story” in light of the previous readings.

The colloquium rounded out the spring with three classic texts on teaching and the aims of liberal education: Philip W. Jackson, “Real Teaching,” in Mark R. Schwehn, ed., Everyone a Teacher; Ken Bain, What the Best College Teachers Do, and Eva Brann “Depth and Desire,” also in Everyone a Teacher.

Posted by Joe Creech

From the Colloquium, February 2016

From the Colloquium

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.

This fall, the weekly colloquium of the residential Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows, led by Founding Director Mark Schwehn, addressed the question, “How might practices and perspectives from the Christian faith and tradition contribute to teaching and scholarship in the contemporary academy?”  In the last edition of “From the Colloquium” I surveyed many of the texts the Postdoctoral Fellows colloquium used to address that question.  Since that November column, the colloquium has address three additional texts and a film. First, the colloquium read several chapters from James Elkins’ Pictures and Tears. In this work, which has been a favorite of the Lilly Graduate Fellows, Elkins, an art historian, reflects on how his academic training has affected his ability to be moved emotionally by encounters with art, specifically, and beauty, more broadly. The discipline of art history opens up a wider conversation about the role of emotions in research and pedagogy and, perhaps more deeply, how first order thought and disciplinary formation alter our perceptions not only in aesthetics but more broadly in our approach to and engagement with our academic subjects.  From there, the colloquium read selections from Christian Wiman’s 2013 My Bright Abyss, focusing on questions regarding the motivations and inner characterizes that prompt artistic and academic work. From Wiman we moved to Abraham Heschel’s classic The Sabbath.  Like Elkins’ Pictures and Tears, this is a regular reading among both the Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellows.  In it, Heschel delineates the distinction between those parts of our lives aimed at mastering space (the secular; the drive to have) and those that could be devoted to sacred time, which we cannot control (the sacred or Sabbath, the need simply to be).  Finally, the colloquium viewed the film, Of God’s and Men, focused on the work and witness of a monastic community in North Africa in the midst of war.  A meditative work much like Babette’s Feast, it highlights the way practices informed the brothers’ response to increasingly difficult situation.

In the May issue of “From the Colloquium,” I will survey the books the Postdoctoral Fellows read this spring semester.

By Joe Creech

From the Colloquium, November 2015

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.

This fall, the weekly colloquium of the residential Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows, led by Founding Director Mark Schwehn, is addressing the question, “How might practices and perspectives from Christian faith and tradition contribute to teaching and scholarship in the contemporary academy?” To start, the colloquium discussed Robert Frost’s poem, “Two Tramps in Mud Time,” which explores themes of vocation, avocation, and justice. The colloquium has subsequently read and discussed texts that address the assumptions, practices, and institutions that shape professional training for academic disciplines. In addition, we have examined works that interrogate those practices and assumptions from Christian or other points of view. The foundation for this conversation is, as it has been for a number of years, Max Weber’s classic “Science as Vocation.” In this 1918 lecture/1919 publication, Weber saw the same processes of rationalization (including a division of labor), secularization, and especially disenchantment at work in universities that he identified more generally in his The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1906) where, in Germany, universities were transitioning from an older model that privileged “character formation” to a newer one that privileged the mastery and production of knowledge. This essay, in elevating dispassionate research as the sine qua non of the academic vocation, revealed the rationale for the ethos of the modern university and specific expressions of that ethos such as academic freedom, the structure of academic departments, benchmarks for promotion and tenure, etc. The goal of the our conversation about this seminal text is to identify the historical and intellectual context of these assumptions and practices that shape who we are as academics, identifying what we see as positive or necessary but also assessing–as Weber himself did–the costs of these developments. Along this same vein, the colloquium read portions of Louis Menand’s The Marketplace of Ideas to assess the continuities from Weber to the present. One line of critique comes from the work of Paul Griffiths on the classic Christian distinction between the vice curiositas—a mastery of knowledge—and the virtue studiositas, a participation in knowledge as a steward of God’s truth.  The colloquium studied Griffith’s essay, “From Curiosity to Studiousness: Catechizing the Appetite for Learning,” in Teaching and Christian Practices, edited by David I. Smith and James K.A. Smith, which summarizes his extended argument along this line in Intellectual Appetite. Finally, the colloquium considered two works that closely examine the idea of “naming,” which, in Genesis 2, has both humanistic and theological importance.  The first is Amy and Leon Kass’s article, “What’s Your Name,” which appeared in First Things in November, 1995.  The Kasses here think through the names we take and give in the collegiate classroom setting and in marriage as a window into identity, work, and power.  The colloquium explored similar themes in portions of Ian McEwan’s novel, Atonement.  As in most years, we also read the classic works by Simone Weil (“The Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God,” in Waiting for God), and Stephanie Paulsell’s (Lilly Fellow ’93-’95) (“Writing as a Spiritual Discipline” in The Scope of our Art, L. Gregory Jones and Paulsell, eds.).  In January, I will discuss the readings in the colloquium in November and December, which include works by James Elkins, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Christian Wiman.

By Joe Creech

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