The Albert M. Wolters Centre for Christian Scholarship began a new fellowship program last year, appointing and hosting three faculty fellows, one from each area of the university: Dr. Jonathan Juilfs in the arts and humanities, Dr. Russ Kosits in the social sciences and Dr. Kevin Vander Meulen in the natural sciences and mathematics. The fellows serve as experts and guides in furthering and applying the Reformed Christian worldview in their disciplines. They guide faculty and students in extending the Reformed tradition in their areas of expertise, through developing their own research, mentoring clusters of new and interested faculty in their areas, and facilitating the annual Wolters Lectures that bring experts in the Reformed tradition to Redeemer.
The social sciences have been powerfully shaped by modernity, teaching us to instinctively separate science and religion, facts and values, observations and interpretations. But this modern prejudice against faith” has not created a naked public square devoid of worldview beliefs. The three-year mentoring curriculum in the social sciences led by Kosits is designed to discern the worldviews that shape contemporary social science, examine the theological and philosophical resources needed to engage the social sciences from a Christian perspective, and explore examples of integrally Christian scholarship and eaching. On March 15, a leading Kuyperian voice in psychology, Dr. Eric Johnson, speaks as the first Wolters lecturer in the social sciences.
The fellows serve as experts and guides in furthering and applying the Reformed Christian worldview in their disciplines.
Vander Meulen hosts a mentoring cluster for new faculty that explores scholarship that intersects the particular Christian tradition that gave birth to Redeemer, including both historical and contemporary authors. The cluster discussed Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology by Dr. Derek Schuurman, a professor of computer science at Calvin University, as well as a book he co-authored, A Christian Field Guide to Technology for Engineers and Designers. Schuurman served as the inaugural Wolters lecturer for the natural sciences and mathematics since his scholarship is an exemplar of mining the riches of the Reformed Christian academic tradition. Schuurman described different approaches to Christian scholarship, highlighting an approach based on Reformational philosophy with an anti-reductionist worldview, applying it to a careful analysis of the non-neutrality of digital technology.
As the fellow in the arts and humanities, Juilfs co-hosted Dr. Gayle Doornbos, assistant professor of theology at Dordt University and Redeemer alum, on September 30, 2022 as a part of the 40th anniversary celebrations. Doornbos delivered the keynote address for the formal launch of the Wolters Centre, and in her talk, highlighted the enduring significance of Al Wolters’s Creation Regained and the continuing relevance of a neo-Calvinist vision for Christian scholarship. Juilfs will partner with Dr. Michael Haykin, visiting professor of history, to host a conference at Redeemer in September 2023 exploring the Christian literary legacy of J. R. R. Tolkien, renowned British scholar and author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.