Dr. Noah Toly, Associate Professor of Politics & International Relations and the Director of the Center for Urban Engagement at Wheaton College, is the winner of the Redeemer Centre for Christian Scholarship’s 2015 Emerging Public Intellectual Award.
The $5,000 award is sponsored by the Acton Institute, Cardus, the Center for Public Justice, Stronger Together, and Redeemer University College. The Centre’s awards committee, which represents some of North America’s top Christian think tanks, selected Toly from among a list of impressive applicants. Dr. Toly received the award and offered a public address at the Centre for Christian Scholarship’s annual fall conference, on October 29.
“[Noah] Toly is a standout,” comments Stephanie Summers, CEO of the Center for Public Justice. “His kind of clear focus on the public implications of his academic work is what we hope to see from EPI awardees. He’s asking timely questions and bringing diverse groups into conversation through his forthcoming book from Oxford University Press, his fellowship with the University of Chicago, his participation with the Chicago Council, and his ongoing collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.”
A widely recognized expert in urban affairs, Toly has built a career based on the three pillars that this award seeks to celebrate: Christian conviction, scholarly depth, and public impact. He has authored numerous academic and popular pieces on cities, environmental politics, and religion, such as his recent book, Cities of Tomorrow and the City to Come: A Theology of Urban Life. He is also a sought-after speaker who has addressed international audiences on subjects such as urbanism, environmental governance, and faith and learning.
The award was established by the Redeemer Centre for Christian Scholarship to encourage the development of first-rate public intellectuals in the Christian academy. “Noah Toly is exactly the type of scholar the Centre is hoping to develop and celebrate,” notes President Hubert Krygsman. “His work is representative of the excellent research carried out by Redeemer and other Christian universities.”
During the Centre’s fall conference, Dr. Toly offered a public address on Christian education’s unique capabilities to foster public engagement in its students.
“To follow the media today is to know that schools at every level face a nearly constant demand to justify their work in light of changing political, economic, and cultural realities. Nearly every day brings editorials with new answers to the old question, ‘What is the purpose of education?’ Preparing students for lives of public engagement is often overlooked in these debates….We need to develop the capabilities for public engagement. We need to teach students to listen and read well, to understand the contours of public deliberation and to discern the consequence for the common good in those discussions.”
Dr. Noah Toly, From the School for the World: Cultivating the Virtues of Public Engagement