Video Highlights from “Mapping the Intersections Between Scholarship and Faith”


On May 13, 2010 the Faculty Center hosted two engaging scholars: Rhonda and Douglas Jacobsen, co-directors of the Lilly Foundation’s Religion in the Academy Project and co-authors of two books published by Oxford Press related to faith and learning in higher education (additional bio info below). The Jacobsens provided opportunities for BYU faculty to think about the variety of ways faith and religion naturally impact the work of individual faculty members in the academy. We were fortunate to videotape these sessions and plan to provide highlights from the seminar in three session this fall.

1. Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. (3211 WSC) – Mapping the Terrain of Religion and Higher Education

Video highlight: The Jacobsens share observations from their research about the changing role of religion in American higher education, from “old soul” to “silenced soul” to “new soul,” and invite us to address the challenges and opportunities a “new soul” era presents for church-related universities and for scholars of faith.

2. Friday October 1, 2010 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. (3224 WSC) – Models and Strategies of Faithful Scholarship

Video highlight: The Jacobsens share four models of how scholars from varied religious traditions approach faithful scholarship: compatible, paradoxical, conflictual, and functional. They invite us to reflect on which model fits best with (or energizes) our own scholarly interests. We can also discuss which model(s) seems most compatible with LDS beliefs.

3. Wednesday, October 13, 2010 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. (3211 WSC) – Scholarship as a Religious Vocation

Video highlight: Vocation has been described as finding “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet” (Fredrick Buechner). Following a presentation of a variety of approaches to scholarship as vocation, the Jacobsens invite us to consider how we as individuals would describe our own vocation as a faithful scholar.

You may also be interested in watching the videos from the Friday, May 14 sessions, which featured our own outstanding BYU faculty. To see a description of these sessions and access the videos, see:

More on the Jacobsens

Rhonda and Douglas Jacobsen are visiting distinguished scholars at Pepperdine, professors at Messiah College, and co-directors of the Religion in the Academy Project, a major research initiative funded by the Lilly Endowment that will culminate in their third jointly written book entitled, The New Soul of the American University. Previously, they published Scholarship and Christian Faith: Enlarging the Conversation (Oxford Univ. Press, 2004) and The American University in a Postsecular Age (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008). In all three works, the Jacobsens explore the nuanced ways faith intersects with higher education. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, their work explores the depth and variety of relationships between religion and education across a wide spectrum of academic disciplines and types of scholarship and creative work. The readings for this seminar are taken from both of their published books and include a variety of authors.


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