Author(s): Clarence W. Joldersma
In addition to his notable work as a premier Christian philosopher, Nicholas Wolterstorff has become a leading voice on faith-based higher education. This volume gathers the best of Wolterstorff's essays from the past twenty-five years dealing collectively with the purpose of Christian higher education and the nature of academic learning. Integrated throughout by the biblical idea of shalom, these nineteen essays present a robust framework for thinking about education that combines a Reformed confessional perspective with a radical social conscience and an increasingly progressivist pedagogy. Wolterstorff develops his ideas in relation to an astonishing variety of thinkers ranging from Calvin, Kuyper, and Jellema to Augustine, Aquinas, and Kant to Weber, Habermas, and MacIntyre. In the process, he critiques various models of education, classic foundationalism, modernization theory, liberal arts, and academic freedom.
"Bob on Books" (blog) While Wolterstorff writes on Christian higher education, these essays are also of great worth for Christians working in higher education in the secular context. They are closely and well-reasoned works that demand careful attention and in return force one to think more deeply about what is meant by term like 'integration' or even 'shalom' or 'human flourishing, ' all of which are bandied about. Equally, Wolterstorff paints an expansive and rich vision of the academic calling at its best. Richard J. Bernstein"I have known Nick Wolterstorff for almost fifty years, and I have always admired his rare combination of Christian commitment, high standards of argument and clarity, imagination, aesthetic sensibility, and serious commitment to social justice. It is a joy to read these well-crafted essays about the character and purpose of a faith-based higher education. I do not know of anyone who writes about these complex issues with as much intelligence, care, lucidity, and humane sensitivity."Richard T. Hughes"Over the years no one has thought more deeply or written more perceptively about the relation of Christian faith to teaching, learning, and scholarship than Nicholas Wolterstorff. Likewise, no one has argued more persuasively that authentic Christian scholarship is not just a matter of cognition but, more than that, is scholarship placed in the service of peace and justice for humankind. Ranging over a period of twenty-five years, these essays will stretch your thinking, quicken your imagination, and deepen your commitment to the noblest purposes of Christian learning."Merold Westphal"Drawing deeply on the breadth of Nicholas Wolterstorff's more technical philosophical contributions, these highly accessible essays present a vision of Christian higher education that may well prove to be his richest legacy to us. I hope they will be widely read and discussed by administrators, faculty, and students at colleges and universities that seek to make their religious identity, whether Protestant or Catholic, a living reality."