Faith and Scholarship

Substantial Resources to Develop the Mind in Faith & Culture

New Ideas to Light Up the Mind in 2018

Why Study? Exploring the Face of God in the Academy.

Icarus Fallen: the search for meaning in an uncertain world. by Chantal Delsol

Who are we late moderns? Where have we come from? What has shaped us? What is our context? What are our struggles? How do we shape the future? Where is our hope to be placed?

Dr. Gordon Carkner has just released (October, 2016) a new book called The Great Escape from Nihilism: rediscovering our passion in late modernity. It will address a number of these questions of identity, morality, meaning, and attempt within a fresh plausibility structure, a recovery of some buried ideas (such as the ancient concept of the good, Christian humanism, the virtues, integrative self-awareness, agape love) that are well worth re-assessment within academia and beyond. It is part of a ten year journey of engagement, a conversation between the Christian faith and Western culture at UBC and Oxford University. Several serious scholars today such as Jurgen Habermas see the need to reconnect culture with religion; they realize that science is not all we need to flourish in our current world, that it cannot give us a large enough framework to resolve our problems. We need a vision for living well in community and taking responsibility for the Other. We need a robust narrative to make sense of our complex world, and an adequate worldview within which to understand our suffering. Graduate students have been at the cutting edge of many of these discussions, of reassessing what it means to be in a ‘secular’ age.

King's College Cambridge

Featured Promotion: Seven brilliant podcasts from CBC Ideas Series produced by David Cayley called ‘The Myth of the Secular’.  This offers a riveting analysis of religion and the secular age, a reframing of how we late moderns see ourselves and our world. It includes thoughtful interviews with some of the deepest thinkers and most insightful minds of our age. If late modern culture is offering an excess of  Nihilism, deconstruction and hyperpluralism, we need to rethink where it is taking us. How can we rediscover a more integral approach or vision that sees a unifying thematic  and searches for the common good amidst the difference and today’s many frictions and conflicts? Is it possible to provide justice for all?

Bibliography to Build a Mind with Substance

The bibliography below offers much to cut one’s teeth on, much to bring into today’s classrooms, papers, colloquiums, philosopher’s cafes and seminars. We also want to emphasize that this is vital material for Christian leaders and the Christian community to consider, material to help them understand the topography of contemporary culture where most people live. We strongly believe that there is a positive, optimistic and constructive way forward in this complex world and that Christians have a strong informed contribution to make to current debates.  We begin with an overview of key titles for thinkers, called “What are we reading?”. Following that there are sections on Faith, Economics and the Political Theatre, Christian Sociologists, Responses to New Atheism, and finally Christian Theistic Philosophers. Don’t leave the library, home or church without quality resources. Your life depends on it.

~Gordon Carkner, PhD in Philosophical Ethics and the Self, University of Wales

What Are We Reading at UBC among Graduate Students and Faculty?

Christian Smith, Souls in Transition: the Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults. Oxford University Press, 2009 (top Notre Dame University sociologist analyses America’s 18-23 year old spirituality; award winning book)

Miraslov Volf, Flourishing: why we need religion in a globalized world. (Yale 2015)

Tom McLeish. Faith and Wisdom in Science. (OUP, 2014)

Marilynne Robinson. Gilead (very highly recommended by Dr.Dennis Danielson English professor UBC)

David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions: the Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies. Yale, 2009 (philosopher of culture and Church Fathers specialist gives an amazing, insightful apologetic for the relevance of Christianity to Western culture; this is a prophetic and challenging book).

David Bentley Hart. The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness and Bliss. (Yale, 2013)

Robert Bellah et al, Religion in Human Evolution: from the Paleolithic to the Axial Age.

Alvin Plantinga, Where the Conflict really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism. (Oxford 2012)

David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God: being, consciousness, bliss. (Yale, 2013)

Alister McGrath, A Fine-Tuned Universe: the quest for God in science and theology. (WJK, 2009)

Jens Zimmerman. Incarnational Humanism: a philosophy of culture for the church in the world. IVP Academic, 2012

______________Humanism & Religion: a call for the renewal of Western culture. Oxford University Press, 2012.

John Milbank. Theology & Social Theory: beyond secular reason. Blackwell, 1990.

Ian Hutchinson. Monopolizing Knowledge.

Rob Alloway’s award winning Babylon Post.

Jeremy Begbie. Resounding Truth. (major current articulate theologian of the Arts)

Leland Ryken. The Christian Imagination. (older classic on faith & the Arts).

Andy Crouch. Culture Making: recovering our creative calling.

Eugene Peterson. Practice Resurrection: a conversation on growing up in Christ.

Jeremy Begbie. Voicing Creation’s Praise.

David Lyle Jeffrey & Gregory Maillet. Christianity & Literature: philosophical foundations and critical practice.

Brad S. Gregory. The Unintended Reformation: how a religious revolution secularized society.

Charles Taylor. A Secular Age.

Gordon E. Carkner. The Great Escape from Nihilism: rediscovering our passion in late modernity.


NDU Main Campus

NDU Main Campus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

James Davison Hunter. To Change the World: the irony, tragedy and possibility of Christianity in the late modern world.

Alasdair MacIntyre. Three Versions of Moral Inquiry; also After Virtue.

D. Stephen Long. The Goodness of God: theology, the church and the social order.

Crystal L. Downing. How Postmodernism (Serves) my Faith.

Craig Gay. The Way of the Modern World: or why it’s tempting to live as if God doesn’t exist.

Jens Zimmerman & Norman Klassen. The Passionate Intellect: incarnational humanism and the future of university education; plus Zimmerman’s new Humanism and Religion: A Call for the Renewal of Western Culture.

Jenz Zimmermann. Incarnational Humanism: a philosophy of culture for the church in the world. IVP Academic, 2012

Niall Ferguson. Civilization: The West and the Rest.

Lesslie Newbigin. The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society.

Don M. Page. Servant Empowered Leadership: a hands-on guide to transforming you and your organization.

Quenton J. Schultze. Habits of the High Tech Heart: living virtuously in the information age.

Albert Borgmann, Power Failure: Christianity in the Culture of Technology.

Wendell Berry. Life is a Miracle: an essay against modern superstition.

Scott Cairns. The End of Suffering: finding purpose in pain.

Miraslov Volf. Exclusion & Embrace: a theological exploration of identity, otherness, and reconciliation.

Stephen Barr, Modern Physics and Ancient Faith.

Alvin Plantinga, Where the Conflict Really Lies.

Francis Collins, The Language of God: a scientist presents evidence for belief in God.

Steven Bouma-Prediger. For the Beauty of the Earth: a Christian vision of creation care.

H. Richard Niebuhr. Christ & Culture.

James Sire. The Universe Next Door: a worldview catalogue.

John Henry Newman. The Idea of a University.


Faith, Economics, Philosophy and the Political Theatre

Not too long ago, someone at UBC asked me where is the hope for intelligent, rational, good-faith political engagement by people of sincere religious faith. In the context of late modern hyper-pluralism, is it impossible to access a discourse that calls on the full wisdom of the Christian heritage while engaging significantly current issues of public debate, the common good and corporate identity? So I went to the Regent College Bookstore and scanned the shelves for answers. To my delight, I discovered a lively array of deep thinking and scholarly work on this topic. It also sparked my memory of the classics that I have studied earlier in my intellectual journey, the giants on whose shoulders I now find confidence and see more clearly.

It seems that it is not at all necessary to be an atheist after all, in order to be relevant to current political, social and economic challenges: justice, rights, globalization, poverty, identity, human suffering, global warming, liberty for the oppressed, moral vision, democracy, violence and terrorism, economic justice, crippling debt, recovery of civility. Below you will find sources for brilliant analysis, critique, challenging new metaphors and political vision, but above all hope for a better world and a belief that we humans can do better by each other within the human community. These scholars and writers refuse Nihilism and complacency; they are onto a quest for meaningful dialogue and action.Many of them are public intellectuals, constructively involved in their communities. The good news is that there are many more quality voices (not listed below).

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Rowan Williams, Faith in the Public Square.

David Lyon & Van Die, Rethinking Church, State and Modernity: Canada Between Europe and America.

Roger Trigg, Free to Believe: Religious Freedom in a Liberal Society, Theos Think Tank, London , 2010

Jean Bethke Elshtain, Sovereignty: God, State and Self.

Glenn Tinder, The Political Meaning of Christianity.

Jacques Ellul, Propaganda.

Gary Haugen, Just Courage.

James K.A. Smith, After Modernity?: Secularity, Globalization, and the Re-enchantment of the World.

______________ How (Not) to be Secular: reading Charles Taylor. Eerdmans, 2014.

John Stackhouse Jr., Making the Best of It: Following Christ in the Real World.

Paul Marshall, Religious Freedom in the World.

____________ Blind Spot: Why Journalists Don’t Get Religion.

Richard John Neuhaus, The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America.

St. Augustine, City of God.

Charles Taylor, Hegel and Modern Society; (plus two books of papers Philosophy and the Human Sciences); A Secular Age. Harvard, 2007; Sources of the Self; The Malaise of Modernity.

_____________ A Secular Age.

John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory.

Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity: a sociologist reconsiders history.

David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions: the Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies.

Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy.

Craig Gay, With Liberty and Justice for Whom?

Jim Wallis, The Great Awakening: Seven Ways to Change the World.

Heclo & McCloy, Religion Returns to the Public Square.

Robert Dahl, On Democracy.

Os Guinness, A Free People’s Suicide.

Margaret Somerville, The Ethical Imagination.

James Davison Hunter, To Change the World: the tragedy, irony and possibility of Christianity in the late modern world.

Nicholas Wolterstorff, Understanding Liberal Democracy: essays in political philosophy.

________________ Justice: Rights and Wrongs.

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Lewis Smedes, Mere Morality.

Ronald Sider, Just Politics.

Donald Hay, Economics Today.

Paul Johnson, A History of the Modern World.

Jens Zimmermann, Incarnational Humanism: a philosophy of culture for the church in the world: Humanism and Religion: a call for renewal of Western culture.

Walter Bruggemann, The Prophetic Imagination.

D. Stephen Long, The Goodness of God: theology, the church and the social order.

Dennis Hollinger, Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World.

Jimmy Carter, Talking Peace.

John Redekop, Politics Under God.

Peter J. Leithart, Between Babel and Beast: America and Empires in Biblical Perspective (Theopolitical Visions).

George Grant, Technology and Empire.

Angus, Dart & Peters (eds.) Athens and Jerusalem: George Grant’s Theology, Philosophy and Politics.

Oliver O’Donovan, The Desire of the Nations: Rediscovering the Roots of Political Theology(part of a multi-volume series)

John Owen, Clash of Ideas.

Faith & Literature

A. Literary Classics:

John Donne. The Complete English Poems.

George Herbert. The Complete English Works.

Gerard Manley Hopkins. The Major Works.

William Shaespeare. The Sonnets.

Flannery O’Connor. Collected Works.

W. H. Auden. The Age of Anxiety.

B. Contemporary Writers:

Frederich Buechner. Speak What We Feel.

Scott Cairns. Love’s Immensity.

Madeleine L’Engle. A Wrinkle in Time.

Luci Shaw. Water & Soul.

Craig Bartholomew (ed.). In the Fields of the Lord.

P.D. James. The Private Patient.

Marilynne Robinson. Gilead.

Fyodor Dostoevski. Brothers Karamazov.

Blaise Pascal. Pensees

Susan Howatch’s novels including Scandalous Risks.

Rob Alloway’s award winning Babylon Post.

Augustine. Confessions.

Harold Bloom & Jessica Zuba. American Religious Poems.

C. Faith & Culture Critics:

Andy Crouch. Culture Making: recovering our creative calling.

Nicholas Wolterstorff. Art in Action.

Alan Joacobs. Pleasures of Reading.

Hans Rookmaaker. Modern Art & the Death of a Culture.

Laurel Gasque, Art and the Christian Mind: the life and work of Hans Rookmaaker.

Lloyd Baugh. Imaging the Divine: Jesus and Christ Figures in Film.

W. David O. Taylor (ed.). For the Beauty of the Church.

Calvin Seerveld. A Christian Critique of Art & Literature.

Leland Ryken. The Christian Imagination.

Jeremy Begbie. Beholding the Glory (also Resounding Truth).

Top Christian Scholars in Sociology and the Social Sciences
Christian Smith, Notre Dame University (youth culture)
David Lyon, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario (surveillance society)
David Martin, Emeritus London School of Economics
Stephen Evans, Baylor University
David Ley, Urban Geography, UBC
Peter Berger, Rutgers,  and Boston University
Paul Marshall, Centre for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute. (Ethics and Human Rights)
Robert Bellah USA
Reginald Bibby, University of Lethbridge, Alberta (top sociologist of religious trends in Canada)
Rodney Stark, Baylor University (Impact of Christianity on Ancient World)
James Davison Hunter, To Change the World: the irony, tragedy and possibility of Christianity in the late modern world.
Rene Girard, Things Hidden Before the Foundations of the Earth. (Anthropology of Evil)
Elaine Storkey UK (Gender Issues)
Mary Stewart Van Leewen (Feminism)
Alan Storkey UK
Jacques Ellul, French
Quentin J. Schultze (philosophy of technology)
Albert Borgmann, U of Montana (philosophy of technology)
Craig M. Gay, Regent College (philosophy of early modernity)
Charles Taylor, Emeritus McGill University, Montreal (philosopher of Western culture)

 Scholarly Reading on Neuroscience, Philosophy of Mind & Religion

(in consultation with Dr. Judith Toronchuk, Biopsychology, Trinity Western University)

Barrett, Justin. Why would anyone believe in God? AltaMira Press, 2004.

Barrett, Justin. Cognitive Science, Religion, andTheology: From Human Minds to Divine Minds. Radnor, PA:Templeton Foundation Press, 2011.

Beauregard, Mario. Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives, Harper One 2012.

Brown, Warren S. and Brad D. Strawn. The Physical Nature of Christian Life: Neuroscience, Psychology, and the Church. NY: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Corcoran, Kevin. Rethinking Human Nature. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2006.

Green, Joel. Body, Soul and Human Life. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2008.

Green, Joel, ed. What About the Soul? Neuroscience and Christian Anthropology. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2004.

Green, Joel and Palmer, Stuart. In Search of the Soul: Four Views of the Mind-Body problem. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2005.

Hasker, William. The Emergent Self. Cornell University Press, 1999.

Jeeves, Malcolm, ed.  From cells to souls–and beyond: changing portraits of human nature. GrandRapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004..

Jeeves, Malcolm. Human Nature: Reflections on the Integration of Psychology and Christianity . Radnor, PA: Templeton Foundation Press, 2006.

Jeeves, Malcom.ed., Rethinking Human Nature: A Multidisciplinary Approach.Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011.

Jeeves, Malcom and Warren Brown. Neuroscience, Psychology and Religion. Conshohoken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press. 2009.

McNamara, Patrick. The Neuroscience of Religious Experience. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Markham, Paul N. Rewired: Exploring Religious Conversion. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2007.

Murphy, Nancey. Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? New York, NY: Cambridge, 2006.

Murphy, Nancey and Warren Brown, Did MNeurons Make Me do it?: Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will. Oxford: Clarendon, 2007.

Newberg, Andrew and Mark Waldman, How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist. Ballantine Books, 2010.
Russell, Robert John et al (eds.) Neuroscience and the Person: scientific perspective on divine action 4. Vatican City State: Vatican Observatory, 1999.

Schjoedt, Uffe. “The Religious Brain: A General Introduction to the Experimental Neuroscience of Religion”, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 21 (2009): 310-339.

Swinburne, Richard. The Evolution of the Soul. Oxford University Press.

Biola Conference on Neuroscience & the Soul

UBC Barber Learning Centre
Scholarly Responses to New Atheism 

Alvin Plantinga, Where the Conflict Really Lies: science, religion and naturalism.

Thomas Nagel, Mind & Cosmos

Alister McGrath, A Fine-Tuned Universe

——————–, The Dawkins Delusion

David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions: the Christian Revolution and its fashionable enemies.

__________________, The Experience of God: being, consciousness, bliss. Yale, 2013.

John C. Lennox, God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? Lion.

——————, Gunning for God: why the new atheists are missing the target.

Craig & Meister (eds.), God is Great; God is Good: why believing in God is reasonable and responsible.

Peter Hitchens, Rage Against God: how atheism led me to faith.

Denis Alexander, Evolution or Creation?

Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster? Making sense of the Old Testament God.


Christian Theistic Philosophers

Alvin Plantinga (Alvin Plantinga’s Virtual Library:

Charles Taylor (McGill University)

Nicholas Wolterstorff (Yale)

Richard Swinburne (Oxford)

Alasdair MacIntyre

David Bentley Hart (First Things Journal, Orthodox)

Thomas Acquinas

Bernard Lonergan

Jacques Maritain (Catholic)

Paul Ricoeur

Michael Polanyi

J. Budziszewski (University of Texas)

Blaise Pascal

Herman Dooyeweerd

Rene Girard

Donn Welton, State University of new York, Sunny Brook (Continental Philosophy)

William Lane Craig (Biola University)

Peter Kreeft (Boston College)

Thomas Morris

Robin Collins

Nancey Murphy (Fuller)

James K. A. Smith (Calvin College)

Jay Budziszewski

Paul Copan

Simone Weil

Norman Geisler

C. Steven Evans (Baylor University)

Kelly James Clark (Calvin College)

Paul K. Moser (Loyola University)

J. P. Moreland (Biola University)

Mortimer J. Adler

Dallas Willard

John E. Hare (Yale)

Gary Habermas

Myron Penner (Trinity Western University, Reformed)

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