Saturday, January 24, 2009


Wow--a long hiatus! I've been working hard to try to understand and express what's central to my project, but nothing has ended up here for a long time. So here are some random thoughts (ok, not quite so random): On his blog, “Just in CASE,” Trevor Cairney responds to Tim Clydesdale’s “Wake Up and Smell the New Epistemology” in the Chronicle of Higher Education. I'm a little surprised by Trevor's linking of what he calls the position of the "deconstructive postmodernist" with the Eden temptation re: knowledge and with constructivism in the context of authority. I'm also very interested to see who has been linking to this YouTube video on a very similar topic. Where is the delicate balance between accepting (participating in) things because they are put forward by an authority and questioning/challenging those same things, perhaps for the same reason? I've been exploring in my own way the idea of "triangulation" that Kevin Vanhoozer is working on in his "On the Very Idea of a Theological System," a chapter in Always Reforming: Explorations in Systematic Theology, edited by A. T. B. McGowan (IVP Academic, 2006), and I hope to be able to put together something similar "toward a theology of learning" for my project. Meanwhile, I'm struck by this from Clydesdale's article:

We need to teach as if our students were colleagues from another department. That means determining what our colleagues may already know, building from that shared knowledge, adapting pre-existing analytic skills, then connecting those fledgling skills and knowledge to a deeper understanding of the discipline we love. In other words, we need to approach our classrooms as public intellectuals eager to share our insights graciously with a wide audience of fellow citizens.