Current LFP Update

LFP Update 16.3

September 2021

Welcome to the LFP Update, an e-publication from the Lilly Fellows Program to keep LFP representatives and others informed about the activities of 1) Lilly Network institutions, 2) present and former Lilly Fellows and, 3) the LFP office at Valparaiso University.

In this Issue:

The 2021 LFP Annual National Conference: Science, Faith, and the Common Good

The 31st annual LFP National ConferenceScience, Faith, and the Common Good, will take place on the campus of Boston College, October 8-10, 2021. Registration is now closed.

At this year’s Lilly Fellows National Conference, we will come together to explore the fruitful ways in which science and religious faith can mutually enrich one another. Although there has been a long history of animosities between science and religion, in this conference we will hearken to voices witnessing to their compatibility and cooperation. We will ponder how this reinvigorated conversation and cooperation can benefit the common good of humankind – what Pope Francis called “care for our common home.”

This theme is most appropriate, as the Lilly Fellows Program has begun a new stage of its mission. Branching outward from many years of conversations focused on the humanities and arts, the Lilly Fellows Program is now developing new models for integrating faith, higher learning and research in the fields of the natural sciences, social sciences and professional disciplines through its Faculty Fellows Program.

At the same time, Boston College has inaugurated its Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society, using science and technology to search for solutions to society’s most pressing challenges, while educating the next generation of science leaders in the areas of energy, health and the environment. These are the goals of its new interdisciplinary initiatives and undergraduate majors in “Global Public Health and the Common Good,” and “Human Centered Engineering.”

Speakers include Stephen M. Barr, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware; Thea L. James, Vice President of Mission and Associate Chief Medical Officer at the Boston Medical Center, and Nancey Murphy, Senior Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary.

For more detailed information, click here.

The 2021 Workshop for Senior Administrators: Mapping Institutional Mission: Where Does Mission Live on Your Campus and Why Does It Matter?

Immediately preceding the National Conference will be the Twenty-First Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators on the topic, Mapping Institutional Mission: Where Does Mission Live on Your Campus and Why Does It Matter? The Workshop will be held at Boston College, October 7-8, 2021. This Workshop for Senior Administrators will help participants explore how church-related mission is embodied and institutionalized in particular individuals, groups, practices, and buildings on their campuses. Mission does not exist in the ether, nor is its embodiment static. Ours is an opportune moment, in light of the disruptions of the past year and a half, both to explore the contours of mission in our institutions and to reflect on how mission has informed our approaches to, and been influenced by, the challenges and opportunities we have engaged during this time. The workshop will help participants begin to map “geography” of mission on campus and explore how it affects the ways mission is expressed and enacted in campus structures, activities, objectives, and programs. Attendees will see and understand their campuses in new ways. Together we will identify aspirations, common and extraordinary challenges, strengths, and opportunities around mission. Our discussion will allow space for participants to reflect on what recent circumstances revealed about the resiliency of their missional geography. Participants take concrete strategies to address challenges and opportunities back to their institutions. The workshop will be convened by Patricia O’Connell Killen, Provost Emerita of Gonzaga University, and Caroline Simon, Provost Emerita of Whitworth University, both in Spokane, Washington. The workshop will also include a variety of panelists. Dr. William Lofton Turner, Distinguished Professor and Counselor to the President at Lipscomb University, will also address the Workshop.

For more detailed information, click here.

Introducing the Twelfth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows 

We are excited to report the successful selection of ten graduate students for the Twelfth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows. We especially want to thank you, the representatives, faculty, and administrators in the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, not only for your hard work in nominating 88 students over two years from whom the selection committee had the difficult task of selecting only ten, but for providing the intellectual and personal formation evident in this impressive group of graduate students.

An eight-member selection committee selected the ten Fellows from the 16 finalists who interviewed online April 9-10, 2021. The new Fellows met together for three days at an Inaugural Conference on August 2-5, 2021, at the campus of Hope College in Holland, MI, with their mentors, Dr. Martha (Marti) Greene Eads of Eastern Mennonite University and Dr. Charles Strauss of Mount St. Mary’s University, and the LFP staff. Throughout the three-and-half-day conference, the Fellows participated in discussions related to the theme, “Friendship and Gift,” engaging works such as the Gospel of Luke and the film, Babette’s Feast.

As have the first eleven cohorts of Fellows, the Twelfth Cohort will embark on a long-distance colloquium drawing on a wide range of texts. This coming fall the Twelfth Cohort will focus on the theme of “Exile.” The Fellows will also engage in one-on-one mentoring relationships and participate in the second of four conferences at Eastern Mennonite University in summer 2022.

Twelfth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

Miriam Ambrosino is a PhD student in Philosophy at Stony Brook University. She received her BA in Philosophy from Fordham University in 2017. In 2021 she received her interdisciplinary MA at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she completed her thesis titled Affect as Critique: The Emotional Work of the Critical Philosopher. In her research, she investigates the affective social self and how philosophers can participate in social justice work through contemplative practices. Her focus on affective life prompts her study of the relationship between an informed aesthetic mode of inquiry and the question of moral-perception and reflection on the part of the scholar. Crucial questions that ground her work include: How can one critically and affectively respond to others during anti-racist and/or anti-sexist moral-reflection? How can the critical philosopher employ their emotions in moral-perception and reflection to respond to local epistemologies and historically devalued testimonies? Miriam considers herself a NY bred Philosopher and is committed to attending to the local socio-political context of her studies.

Elspeth Currie received a BA in History and Classical Studies from Gordon College in 2016 and an MSt in Women's Studies from the University of Oxford in 2017. After teaching Latin and history at classical Christian schools for several years, she is now pursuing a PhD in history at Boston College. Her research focuses on women’s Latin education and intellectual lives within the humanist household of early modern England. She is particularly interested in the connections between women’s intellectual agency and their familial ties. 

Shaun Evans is a PhD student in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, with a concentration in the History of Christianity. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2018 with a BA in Philosophy-Theology and Classics and in 2020 with an MTS. His research focuses on medieval theology, especially on the topics of Christology and grace in Thomas Aquinas.

Hannah Keller is a PhD student in history at The Ohio State University. She received a BA in history and French from Mercer University in 2019 and a MA from Western Michigan University in 2021. She examines a variety of sources (chronicles, literary works, genealogies, etc.) to explore the intersection between marriage and violence in the Middle Ages. She currently studies a handful of marriages in fifteenth-century England that were used to damage the political capital of rival lords. In the future, she plans to explore other marriages that did not conform to expected patterns, particularly those involving abduction.

Arah Ko graduated with a BA from the Wheaton College English Honors program in 2018. She is an MFA candidate in creative writing with a focus in poetry at the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH where she serves as an editor at The Journal. Arah is the runner-up for the Fugue 2020 Poetry Prize and the 2018 Luci Shaw Fellow for Image in Seattle, WA. Her work orbits themes of mythology, East Asian diaspora, trauma, and faith and can be found in RuminateSiderealNew Reader MagazineThe Cresset, and other journals.

Rebecca Mott is an MFA student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2018 she received her BFA with an emphasis in Painting from Biola University and became a perpetual member of the Torrey Honors College. As a graduate student, Rebecca is developing a practice that integrates art and artificial intelligence. Her ongoing project aims to create and train a Generative Adversarial Network that will produce images that seamlessly identify and reflect the artistic style and tendencies of her paintings. Through this process, she hopes to engage with questions pertaining to anthropocentrism, object permanence, gender and labor, and the value systems that shape and surround art and its futurity. 

Jamie Myrose is a PhD student in Systematic Theology at Boston College. She graduated from Boston College in 2018 with a BA in Theology and Philosophy with a concentration in the Great Books. She then graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2020 with an MTS in Systematic Theology. Her research focuses on the intersections of feminist theologies and theological anthropology, particularly around questions of human and divine relationality. She is also interested in the interplay of environmental justice and Christian spirituality.

Alex Raycroft completed a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Calvin University and will begin her studies as a PhD student in Philosophy at Georgetown University in the fall of 2021. Her areas of interest are in ancient and medieval ethics as well as feminist reconstructions and criticisms of them. Raycroft hopes to study systemic oppression and its influence on the development of moral character. Specifically, she’s interested in what this might mean for an individual’s (or a collective’s) ability to flourish and is hopeful about the possibilities of community for combatting moral damage.  

Olivia Stowell is a Ph.D. student in the department of Communication & Media at the University of Michigan. She received her B.A. in English and Theatre Arts from Westmont College in 2019 and her M.A. in English Literature from Villanova University in 2021. Her research focuses on race, embodiment, performance, and temporality in contemporary television, particularly in reality cooking and food TV. In her doctoral studies, she hopes to bring an interdisciplinary approach to her study of how race is represented, defined, and packaged in the contemporary popular imaginary.

Benjamin J. Young is a PhD student in History at the University of Notre Dame. He received his BA in History and Religion in 2021 from Baylor University, where he also minored in Classics. Young is a historian of the modern United States whose research engages the intersections of religion, politics, culture, and metropolitan development. He is particularly interested in the formative influence of the rise of suburbia in the shaping of the American religious landscape after World War II. His inquiries occasionally range farther afield into global religious history, urban theory, neoliberalism, and American evangelicals’ relations with white-minority regimes in twentieth-century Africa.

Update on the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program

We are happy to report that the Tenth Cohort, mentored by Lisa DeBoer of Westmont College and John Ware of Xavier University of Louisiana, which completed its three-year program in spring 2020, held its final conference July 4-8, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. As is common in the final conference, Fellows shared their own papers with one another while they also visited the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Art (meeting with LGFP Cohort 5 member Dr. Jessicah Criales), and viewed the film Columbus while then spending the day in Columbus, IN. You will have the opportunity to meet this cohort at the 2021 annual National Conference at Boston College, along with LGFP Cohort 9, which postponed its reunion until the National Conference at Boston College.

The Eleventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, who are mentored by Mark Ruff at Saint Louis University and Jane Kelley Rodeheffer of Pepperdine University, completed the second year of its three-year program. The cohort held its second summer conference also in Indianapolis, Indiana, August 7-11, 2021, on the theme “Refugia and Renewal in Times of Crisis.” Their readings included the Joseph story from Genesis, sections of Generous Thinking by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, portions of Elizabeth Newman’s Untamed Hospitality, sections of George Packer’s Last Best Hope, James Joyce’s “The Dead,” and Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif.” Cohort 12 will meet for its final conference at Saint John’s Guest House in August 2022.

Selection Information for the Next Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

The LFP has determined to pause the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program selection process for one year and therefore will not recruit Lilly Graduate Fellows in the 2021-22 academic year. This pause will allow the LFP to assess a number of questions regarding changes in graduate education, the academic job market, and higher education more generally that impact the nature of the program and the process of recruitment.

The LFP Staff is also pursuing opportunities to begin a graduate fellowship program in STEM fields to complement the ongoing program in the humanities and the arts. Look for updates on these developments.

Call for Applications: Hope College Network Exchange Hope College Big Read, Literature Connecting Community and Campus

On March 6-8, 2022, Hope College will host a Lilly Network Exchange on the program, “Hope College Big Read: Literature Connecting Campus and Community.” Hope College invites applications to be one of 12 participants who are faculty members or administrators at Lilly Network Schools interested in learning about literature-based programs.

Network Exchange Programs allow Network institutions to showcase distinctive, signature projects, institutes, or curricula that highlight the Christian or church-related characteristics of their schools. They provide for an extended visitation by faculty and leaders from other Network colleges, allowing close observation and study of the pertinent program, so that other institutions might learn from the host institution's experience and perspectives.

The Exchange will enable participants to engage in Hope College’s NEA Big Read Lakeshore, which is an annual month-long community-wide reading program that brings people together around a common book and uses this shared experience of reading, discussing, and exploring the topics of the book as a springboard to listen to and learn from each other. In collaboration with area schools, libraries, non-profit organizations, and businesses, the Big Read offers over 50 events and book discussions during the month of programming and regularly involves 12,000 participants of all ages.

The purpose of this LFP Network Exchange is to use the Big Read Lakeshore as an entry point in exploring the intersections between literature, campus and community engagement and faith commitment. During the course of their visit to Hope College, participants will be invited to attend seminars and plenary sessions, campus events, interact with program teachers, librarians, and students, and contribute to breakout conversations on topics related to literature-based programming such as:

  • articulating faith-based approaches to studying and discussing literature
  • aligning institutional missions and program goals
  • sharing best practices around program implementation and partnerships (churches, librarians, educational institutions, non-profits)
  • conducting research and scholarship around program involvements.

Participants will be encouraged to share perspectives and ideas from their home institutions and then to disseminate what they learn once they return. The goal of the workshop is to engage, empower, and equip faculty members in this work.

This LFP Network Exchange opportunity will provide participants with all meals, hotel accommodations, ground transportation, and up to $600 in airfare reimbursement to Grand Rapids International Airport. It is open to any faculty from the Lilly Network who lead or are involved with literature-based campus and/or community programs as well as those who are considering starting or getting involved in new or existing programs.

The Deadline to Apply is October 1, 2021. For More Information, Click Here.

Save the Date: Regional Conference at Grove City College, Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads

The Grove City College English Department invites participants and presenters to an in-person Lilly Fellows Program Regional Conference: “Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads,” held on campus at Grove City College on April 7-9, 2022. The conference will include plenary addresses by graphic novelist and artist Gene Luen Yang and scholar Dr. Susan VanZanten.

Describing the vexed position of the Christian in a postcolonial nation, Ghanaian theologian Mercy Amba Oduyoye writes, “What is specifically Christian is irresistible. But Christianity in Africa began by confusing Christianity with European culture” (Inheriting Our Mothers’ Gardens 39). Christianity has often been mistaken for and sometimes presented as a purely Western phenomenon, but this has never been the case—Christian communities like the Ethiopian Church and the Saint Thomas Christians of India trace their roots back to the time of the apostles. This fact is becoming ever more apparent today as the demographic center of even Western Christianity shifts eastward and southward. If, as St. Paul says, the Gospel is “a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles,” then Christianity presents a challenge to the conventional wisdom of any culture or nation. Christianity is not inherently more compatible with Western culture than it is with any of the cultures of the East or the Global South. How might American scholars and American students, especially those who also find Christianity “irresistible,” understand and learn from Christian thinkers and treatments of Christian communities in these global texts? 

Look for a Call for Papers later in September 2021.

Save the Date: “Regional Conference at Valparaiso University: Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities”

On April 8, 2022, Valparaiso University, in partnership with the Lilly Fellows Program, invites you to a special symposium, “Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities.” The symposium will take place in three sessions, with the first focusing on problems, the second on possibilities, and the third on integrating issues of faith, nationalism, and the problems of historical memory into undergraduate curricula.

Description: Today’s world is witnessing to new configurations of alliances and conflicts between religious institutions and the state. Religion is a key player in rewriting nationalist narratives that underpin state policies. In the United States, evangelical Christians influence state policies and contribute to nationalist agendas. The Orthodox Church is a leader in the resurgence of nationalism in post-Soviet Russia and the rehabilitation of the mythological past of “Holy Russia” that contributes to the state’s ideological agenda. Analysts express concern that religion will fuel the flames of nationalist isolationism and increase the possibilities for international incidents of polarization, violence, and war. Critics call for the complete separation of religious organizations from the state. In some places of the world, cooperation between religious institutions and the state can become a positive force at the local and international levels. Religious leaders can consult the state and contribute to the formation of national identity that is inclusive and does not pose a threat to international peace.

Confirmed panelists:

Antoine Arjakovsky, Collège de Bernardins, Paris
Scott Hibbard, DePaul University, Chicago
Atalia Omer, University of Notre Dame, South Bend
Robert Saler, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis
Dorian Llywelyn, S.J., Santa Clara University
Slavica Jakelic, Valparaiso University
Timothy Larsen, Wheaton College
Philipp Gollner, Goshen College
Samuel Graber, Valparaiso University

Deadlines for Grants

The next series of programs that will receive funding are: Mentoring ProgramsSmall GrantsNetwork Exchanges, and Regional Collaboration and Conferences. Proposals for the programs are due September 15, 2021

Network Exchange:
The Deadline for applications to the Network Exchange at Hope College on its “Big Read Lakeshore” program is October 1, 2021.

For more information, visit the LFP website

Facebook and Twitter

As always, the LFP can be followed on Facebook and Twitter at @LFProgram and @Exilesfromeden.


Noteworthy News

September LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for September 2021 is now available. Click here.

2021 Workshop for Senior Administrators

Registration is now closed for the 21st Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators. We hope to see you at Boston College Oct 7-8, 2021. Click here for more information.

2021 National Conference

Registration now closed for the 31st annual LFP National Conference, "Science, Faith, and the Common Good." We hope to see you at Boston College on October 8-10, 2021. Click here for more information.

Hope College Big Read

Call for Applications: Hope College is hosting a Network Exchange March 6-8, 2022 to showcase their annual month-long community-wide reading program. Click here for more information and how to apply.

Grove City College Hosts Regional Conference

Grove City College invites participants and presenters for a regional conference entitled "Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads." For more information, click here.

Announcing the winner of the 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize

We are pleased to announce that Stephen Heyde of Baylor University has won the 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in the Performing Arts for Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 2. For more information and to hear the piece performed, please see our official announcement.

New edition of Leading Lives that Matter released

In their second edition of Leading Lives That Matter, editors Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass compile a wide range of texts—from ancient and contemporary literature, social commentary, and philosophy—related to questions of vital interest for those who are trying to decide what to do with their lives and what kind of human beings they hope to become. Leading Lives that Matter has been an important text in many of our fellowship and grant programs, and it contains excellent resources. Click here for more information and an excerpt.

Lilly Network of Church- Related Colleges and Universities

If you are interested in learning more about membership in the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, please contact us here.