Christians and universities

THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW AND THE ACADEMY

A conference sponsored by the Aquinas Institute, Athletes in Action, the Baptist Student Fellowship, Christian Leadership Ministries, Manna Christian Fellowship, Princeton Evangelical Fellowship, Princeton Faith and Action, and the Witherspoon Institute.
Princeton, New Jersey November 9-11, 2007

Contrary to the perception of certain intellectual circles, no oil-and-water dynamic need exist between academic excellence and Christian faith. History instructs us in this, as so much of the Western intellectual inheritance rests on the work of great Christian figures like Augustine, John Chrysostom, Thomas Aquinas, Anselm, Erasmus, John Calvin, and Jonathan Witherspoon. And yet, Christian students today are told via explicit arguments and subtle denigration that their positions on many issues lack rational foundations. Not only are Christian beliefs and practices under attack, but moral norms of sexual ethics and human dignity are increasingly challenged or even dismissed. The Christian Worldview conference will bring together thinkers from both inside and outside the academy to address several issues:

1. The nature of Christian truth and how we can know it.
1. Secularism and the Challenges of Faith
2. The Authenticity and Historicity of Scripture

2. The relationship between, and compatibility of, Christianity and science.
1. The rejection of scientific materialism as a philosophy
2. The nature of the universe as a designed system

3. The Christian and the Polis: where and how Christian and natural law principles influence public policy, with subsections on:
1. Bioethics
2. Sex and Marriage

The proposed topics of the Christian Worldview conference reflect the worries that students regularly confide to their priests and pastors, as these clergy have related to the Witherspoon Institute. Far from being a pep talk, however, the conference aims instead to explore how orthodox Christianity shapes one’s approach to scholarship and to engagement with the secular and academic worlds.

Amongst the stars are Robert P. George and Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.

I know what the Witherspoon Institute is, and am impressed. I have even discovered The Institute on Religion and Democracy. Am I becoming a theocon? Stop me someone.