In this post I’d like to reflect on a tension that I consider to be quite widespread within academia. ‘Critical thinking’ is often extolled as one of the core virtues necessary for the intellectual life: much university-level teaching is geared towards developing this skill, and it is viewed as foundational for effective research.
ideas for academics
Is gentleness something academics should aspire to? If a colleague or a peer described you as gentle, would you be pleased, or a little worried?
There's something special about conversations where you can be on the same page with both faith and work.
In his recent post ‘Forays into finance’, Richard reflected on the challenges of institutional sin in his new context of the financial sector: an industry governed by forces which seem to tend towards exploitation of others, manifesting sin beyond the personal to the societal level.
But, of course, you don’t need to be in finance to recognise the way human institutions can be a force for evil. This concept of sin is easily recognisable to those in academia, too.
I've spent much of the last two weeks at academic conferences. Now, while I take a few days off to recover (!), I'm reflecting on some of the challenges of the scholarly environment that can be exposed with particular clarity at this kind of event.
In my work as a lecturer over the past year, I've had the privilege of working particularly closely with students from a number of different nationalities and cultures. This has been especially exciting for me because it fits into a lifelong love for other languages and other places. As a student I loved being part of the meetings of international students at my university Christian Union, and seeing how people from very different parts of the world (and with wildly contrasting life-stories) could come together in worshipping Jesus and encouraging one another.
Taking stock of my career and why I'm here (a guest post by Richard Vytniorgu)
Does academic work matter? This is a question most academics come up against at some point in their career, and in day to day life: while most of us at least started because we love our subjects, everyday work in the lab or the library can be monotonous and frustrating, sometimes seeming pointless. At the same time, academic culture often encourages us to make our identity as intellectuals into an idol, and this makes any doubt or difficulty feel like a personal failure.
Going into the new year, I want to be a more effective ambassador of God's kingdom. But why is it so hard to share the gospel in academia?
A guest post from Richard Vytniorgu.