8.0363 Conf: Christianity and Culture in Crossfire (1/92)

Tue, 7 Mar 1995 20:16:46 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 8, No. 0363. Tuesday, 7 Mar 1995.

Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 18:08:01 EDT
From: "David Hoekema" <DHOEKEMA@legacy.Calvin.EDU>
Subject: Conference announcement and invitation


The so-called "culture wars" have engaged the interest of many
observers both inside and outside the academy. Yet there has
been comparatively little serious discussion of the bearing of
Christian commitment on the disputed questions of relativism,
feminism, cultural diversity, and post-modernist approaches.
This situation is doubly unfortunate. On the one hand, the
relative silence of thoughtful Christian voices in the debate has
impoverished national discussion of these matters. A tradition
that has profoundly influenced the current state of American
intellectual culture, and within which questions of truth and
justice have been vigorously debated for two millenia, has too
often been ignored, or reduced to irresponsible
oversimplifications, by the officers leading the cultural battle
on both sides. On the other hand, even where recent writings
about community, gender, and the social bases of knowledge have
direct bearing on issues of Christian faith and practice, leaders
in the community of Christian higher education have given them
too little consideration or dismissed them without serious

A conference sponsored by the Calvin Center for Christian
Scholarship, to be held at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan,
on April 27-29, 1995, will bring together the responses of a diverse
group of scholars to questions such as these:

--Is there a "culture war" being waged in the academy today
and, if so, who are the warring parties?

--What do feminist and post-modernist critics of the
Enlightenment have to say about the nature of knowledge and the

--Do these critical movements undermine Christian approaches, or can
they instead create a space for faith and for intellectual inquiry
grounded in faith?

--Is knowledge generated by a community, not simply by an
individual? Do communitarian moral values demand a communitarian
theory of knowledge?

--Can Christian social thought and practice provide a communitarian
perspective that escapes the dangers of authoritarianism?

--What place do race and ethnicity have in a community shaped by
Christian values?

Conference speakers and topics will include:

Martin Marty, "Cross-Multicultures in the Crossfire: The
Humanities and Political Interests"

Elizabeth Minnich, "If You Want Truth, Work for Justice"

Miroslav Volf, "Truth, Deception, and Cultural Difference"

Paula Brownlee, "I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me: Bridging
Between Languages"

Jean Hampton, "Feminism, Moral Objectivity, and Christianity"

Nicholas Wolterstorff, "Suffering Power and Privileged Cognitive

Wayne Booth, "Deconstruction as Religious Revival"

Mark Schwehn, "Christianity and Postmodernism: Uneasy Allies"

Jacob Neusner, "Christmas and Israel: How Secularism Turns
Religion into Culture: The Case of Judaism"

Peter Paris, "Conflicting Spiritualities in the Struggle for
Racial Justice"

Conference organizers David Hoekema (Academic Dean, Calvin
College) and Bobby Fong (formerly Academic Dean, Hope College,
and Dean-elect of the Faculty, Hamilton College) cordially invite
readers of this list to consider attending. For a conference
brochure and registration materials, contact Donna Romanowski at
the Calvin Center, telephone 616 957-7162 (or by e-mail at

Registration fee $30; limited on-campus housing available.
Conference is limited to 300 registrants.

/David Hoekema, Academic Dean, Calvin College, Grand Rapids MI 49546\
\\ tel. 616 957-6442 || fax 616 957-8551 || <dhoekema@calvin.edu> //