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Academia

Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service
Mary Poplin  (InterVarsity Press/Veritas Forum Books)
A moving story of a disillusioned professor, searching for meaning and hope, who is not only inspired by a season with Mother Theresa serving the poor in India, but is guided by her to return to academia, taking up her role as a college instructor conceiving it as a ministry there. “Find your own Calcutta, there” Mother Theresa advised her. Dr. Poplin’s next book continues the story of her witness in academia, Is Reality Secular? Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews where she both diagnoses the reigning philosophical assumptions in the academy and tells some of her own story defending Christian views while integrating her faith within her own discipline. Includes a moving foreword by the late Dallas Willard.

Student Affairs Reconsidered: A Christian View of the Profession and Its Contexts
David Guthrie et al (University Press of America)
One of the very few books that thoughtfully explore student affairs, from residential life to stages of development work and other aspects from a uniquely Christian perspective.

Christian Scholarship in the Twenty-First Century: Prospects and Perils
Edited by Thomas Crisp, Steve Porter and Gregg A. Ten Elshof (Eerdmans)
A very robust collection of thoughtful Christian scholars pondering what it means to do Christian scholarship, what the methodologies and perspective are that bear good academic fruit, and what the role of the Christian scholar is the contemporary academy. Faith and Learning: A Guide for Faculty Patrick Allen & Kenneth Badley (Abilene Christian University Press) While these authors are both situated at an evangelical liberal arts institution, their guidance will be exceptionally helpful for any Christian faculty member, wanting wise guidance for thinking about the integration of faith and learning, conducting oneself with integrity, thinking faithfully about the art of teaching, working on departmental matters, doing ongoing academic research and more. This book, so full of empathy and candor for young professors, has as a framing format reflecting on the esteemed work of Ernest L. Boyer.

Faith, Freedom and Higher Education: Historical Analysis and Contemporary Reflections
Edited by P.C. Kemeny (Pickwick Publications)
This mature volume includes diverse scholars reflecting on various aspects of the quandaries of higher education, including stellar chapters on the insights (for higher learning) of seminal figures such as Dorothy Sayers, C.S. Lewis, Wendell Berry and Alan Bloom. Mark Noll has called the essays “sparkling” and Robert George, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton says that are “refreshing and forward-looking.” Taking Every Thought Captive: Forty Years of the Christian Scholars Review edited by Don W. King (Abilene Christian University Press) For four decades the scholarly journal The Christian Scholars Review has printed seriously academic pieces by Christians scholars, and been a source of inspiration and stimulation for Christian intellectuals and academics. In celebration of their 40th anniversary CSR editor (and C.S. Lewis scholar) Donald King edited this long-awaited anthology of some of their most popular, engaging, or representative pieces. Some are specifically about the the role of Christian colleges and universities, but many are about specific disciplines, with something here for nearly everyone who works in academia.

The Myth of Religious Neutrality: An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories
Roy A. Clouser (University of Notre Dame Press)
A classic of thoughtful Christian philosophy, showing how all academic disciplines are decisively shaped by faith-like presuppositions. Very, very significant, well worth working through carefully, perhaps with others.

* These reviews are from a friend of Trinity, Byron Borger. Visit Hearts and Minds Books.