Introduction

Do you, as a Christian academic, sometimes feel that the material you teach in your field is somehow inconsistent with a Christian view of the world? Do you feel that there ought to be a new paradigm in your field that is more consistent with it, but at the same time also soundly academic? Do you, as a new researcher, wish you could make a difference in your field in the name of Christ?

Because of what Mark Green calls the Sacred-Secular Divide (Greene, 2010), Christian academics have not often shaped the content and direction of their disciplines. Where is the Christ-following Jürgen Habermas or Michel Foucault? Where is the Christ-centred Stephen Hawking? Or the Holy-Spirit-filled Peter Singer, Anthony Giddens, John Searle, Milton Friedman or John Maynard Keynes?

In the main, Christian academics have usually thought it enough to be ‘good’ people and hope to speak to people about Christ and the gospel, without seeing they have the power and responsibility to make significant contributions to their disciplines. Any contributions they make are usually in spite of, rather than because of, their commitment to Christ. No wonder the thought in many disciplines seems often to be inimical to a Christian view, if Christians have abandoned their responsibility to express it.

But, why shouldn’t Christ’s people contribute to the very content, architecture and direction of their disciplines? Notice: ‘contribute’, not ‘conquer’ nor ‘conform’. It is time for Christ’s people to begin shaping their disciplines rather than letting their disciplines shape them. It should be done and it can be done.

“Shaping Our Disciplines For Christ” is a framework for helping academics do just that.

It comprises a series of questions that have been used to assist thinking Christians working in a discipline – academic or professional – to reflect on how they might ‘shape’ their disciplines by critically enriching thought in those disciplines from an avowedly Biblical or Christian perspective.

This has been used in a number of workshops. For more information please email secretary@c-a-n.org.uk

On this site we present the feedback from a number of different workshops.

Where Used