Call for Papers: Christian Education in a Secular Age
Briercrest College and Seminary (Caronport, Saskatchewan) invites proposals for papers for an upcoming conference titled “Christian Education in a Secular Age,” to be held on October 1-2, 2020. This conference will explore aspects of the theory and practice of Christian education in our current North American context with particular attention to the interdisciplinary impact of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age. Dr. Jens Zimmermann will give the keynote address, “The Challenge and Promise of Christian Humanism.” Proposals are invited for individual papers, panels, and roundtable discussions. Papers examining theoretical issues or scholarship and teaching in any of the disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and Christian ministry are welcome. At the heart of this conference is a central question: How can Christian education contribute to human flourishing within our secular context?
Potential areas of exploration include:
- How might Christian education foster attention to the metaphysical frameworks that promote human flourishing?
- How does Charles Taylor’s diagnosis of our current secular age produce consequences and opportunities for Christian scholars and educators?
- What are the implications of A Secular Age for study in various disciplines (history, psychology, biblical studies, etc.)? For example:
- How does the teaching of English literature, a tradition steeped in the Bible and church vernacular, shift in a secular age when many students will not know Biblical allusions or source materials?
- How do contemporary questions regarding human flourishing in a secular age contribute to, and/or challenge, current theological conversations regarding the image of God (theological anthropology), the nature and work of the church (ecclesiology), or humanity’s future existence (eschatology)?
- How does Taylor’s work provide a basis for bridging gaps between secular and theologically informed beliefs about the power and limits of the scientific method?
- In what ways does technology pose challenges to or provide opportunities for those who seek to grapple with specifically theological truths or broadly shared human concerns?
- How may Christian approaches to leadership better stimulate human flourishing in the marketplace or nonprofit sector?
- How might Christian humanism provide ways for Christian educators to operate in a secular educational system?
- What are the advantages to educators of operating in a secular age rather than one where faith was the assumed fallback position?
Proposals should include a one-page cv for each participant as well as a title and abstract of no more than 400 words, describing the paper, panel, or roundtable and its relation to the themes of the conference. An electronic copy of the proposal should be sent to Dr. Joy Demoskoff at firstname.lastname@example.org by Mar. 15, 2020. Successful applicants will be contacted by Mar. 31, 2020.
The organizers intend to publish an edited volume after the conference proceedings; further details will be announced at the conference.
Joy Demoskoff, Assistant Professor of History, Briercrest College and Seminary