Current LFP Update

LFP Update 16.4

November 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 Thirty-first LFP National Conference

On October 8-10, 2021, the LFP held its 31st annual National Conference , “Science, Faith, and the Common Good,” at Boston College. We came 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, this conference hearkened to voices witnessing to their compatibility and cooperation. This conference gave us an opportunity to reflect on how reinvigorated conversation and cooperation can benefit the common good of humankind—what Pope Francis called “care for our common home.” Conferees heard from Stephen Barr, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware; Thea James, Vice President of Mission and Associate Chief Medical Officer, Harvard University and Boston Medical Center; and Nancey Murphy, Senior Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary.

The LFP will hold its thirty-second annual National Conference on October 28-30, 2022, at Lipscomb University. The conference will address the theme, “Implicit Racial Bias and the Academy.” Look for more information in the spring.

The 2021 Twenty-first Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators

On October 7-8, 2021, the Lilly Fellows Program hosted its Twenty-first Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators at Boston College on the topic of Mapping Institutional Mission: Where Does Mission Live on Your Campus and Why Does It Matter? This workshop helped 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. Participants mapped “geography” of mission on campus and explored how it affects the ways mission is expressed and enacted in campus structures, activities, objectives, and programs. Together they identified aspirations, common and extraordinary challenges, strengths, and opportunities around mission, and brought back concrete strategies to address challenges and opportunities. The workshop paid particular attention to the way the disruptions of the past eighteen months brought insight into the geography of mission. 

The Twenty-Second Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators will be held at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee on October 27-28, 2022, with Willie James Jennings as a keynote speaker. Check the website in spring 2022 for more information on next year’s workshop.

The Ninth Biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2021

On October 8, 2021, at its Thirty-first Annual National Conference at Boston College, the Lilly Fellows Program presented the 2021 Biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2021 to Dr. David Smith, Professor of German Language, Director of the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning, and Coordinator for the De Vries Institute for Global Faculty, at Calvin University for his book, On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom.

On Christian Teaching is a thoughtful reflection on how faith can shape the vocation of teaching. Drawing on his extensive experience in church-related education, Smith uses exemplars from his own teaching to guide readers through reflective exercises that will help them use their faith to shape their teaching practices, regardless of discipline. Smith gives abundant examples of the ways that faith can inform pedagogy, to make the case that it is, indeed, possible for faith to inform pedagogy in any discipline. Asking readers to think about topics such as classroom hospitality, the first minutes and days of the course, and textbooks and reading materials with Christian faith in mind, Smith challenges readers to examine every aspect of teaching and consider whether it could be done “Christianly.”

The Lilly Fellows Program also honored five finalists for the award: Dostoevsky's Incarnational Realism: Finding Christ among the Karamazovs, by Paul J. Contino (Cascade Books, 2020); Hearing Vocation Differently: Meaning, Purpose, and Identity in the Multi-Faith Academy, edited byDavid S. Cunningham(Oxford University Press, 2019)The Outrageous Idea of Christian Teaching, by Perry L. Glazner & Nathan F. Alleman(Oxford University Press, 2019); Converting the Imagination: Teaching to Recover Jesus' Vision for Fullness of Life, by Patrick R. Manning (Pickwick Publications, 2020); Religion in the University, by Nicholas Wolterstorff (Yale University Press, 2019).

Call for Nominations, 2022 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Imaginative Writing

The LFP office is now accepting nominations for the Eleventh Biennial Arlin G. Meyer Prize, which for 2022 will honor works in Imaginative Writing.

The Arlin G. Meyer Prize is awarded biennially to a full-time faculty member from a college or university in the Lilly Fellows Program National Network whose work was published in 2019, 2020, or 2021. Work that exemplifies the practice of the Christian artistic or scholarly vocation in relation to any pertinent subject matter or literary and artistic style will be considered. The prize will be awarded in different years for works of creative imagination and for works of scholarship. The 2022 Arlin G. Meyer Prize will reward the author of a creative work that emerges from his or her practice of the vocation of the Christian creative writer, in accord with the principles and ideals of the Lilly Fellows Program. In subsequent years, the Meyer Prize will honor those who practice in the fields of non-fiction, musical performance, performance art, and visual arts. 

The Prize honors the late Arlin G. Meyer, Professor Emeritus of English at Valparaiso University, who served as program director of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts from its inception in 1991 until his retirement in 2002.  The Prize of $3000 will be awarded at the Lilly Fellows Program National Conference at Lipscomb University, October 28-30, 2022.  For more information on the prize, see the Arlin G. Meyer Prize website.

The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2022.

Call for Papers: Regional Conference at Grove City College, “Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads”

The Grove City 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 feature plenary addresses by graphic novelist and artist Gene Luen Yang and scholar Dr. Susan Van Zanten.

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 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? 

We invite scholarly or pedagogically focused 15-20 minute conference papers centered on the relationship between Christianity and a primary text or core text from a non-Western tradition, including works of literature, philosophy, theology, history, and the fine arts. Proposals (250-300 words) should be sent to by January 14, 2022. For more information, click here.

The deadline for submissions is January 14, 2022.

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.

The symposium is a hybrid event. Participants may attend in-person or via livestream (more details forthcoming).  

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

Call for Papers: Regional Conference at Sacred Heart University, “Vatican II and Catholic Higher Education: Leading Forward”

Sacred Heart University celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, as well as the 60th anniversary of the University’s founding in the spirit of Vatican II. Both the first session of Vatican II and Bishop Walter W. Curtis’ founding of Sacred Heart University took place during October 1962. To celebrate this landmark moment in the history of Catholic higher education and the Catholic intellectual tradition, Sacred Heart University, sponsored by a grant from the Lilly Fellows Program, and supported by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities is assembling a conference of thinkers, writers, and artists who will offer deep, creative, and interpretive reflection on the impact of Vatican II on Catholic higher education. We want to examine and imagine how Vatican II can lead and move Catholic higher education forward. We want to explore how our reading and understanding of Vatican II documents, as well as the formative thinkers of Vatican II and the Catholic intellectual tradition, can deepen and expand our vision of Catholic higher education, addressing new and old challenges. We look for papers that explore, examine, and engage the importance of how we can best preserve, transmit, and cultivate the Catholic intellectual tradition and its ongoing development, moving it forward into a global, pluralistic 21st century. We invite papers that consider the importance of how our institutions of higher learning can foster a vital and robust Catholic identity and mission while at the same time embrace diversity and inclusion. We seek presentations that consider the value of the formation of our students—as intellectual spiritual, and social—at our institutions of higher education. We seek papers that promote the project of Catholic higher education into the future.

Keynote Speakers:

Massimo Faggioli, Villanova University

Grant Kaplan, St. Louis University
Susan Reynolds, Emory University
Patricia McGuire, Trinity Washington University


Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be sent to: no later than Monday April 4, 2022. For more information, a conference flyer, and a full call for papers, click here

The deadline for submissions is April 4, 2022.

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.

Hope College Big Read

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.

Religion, State, and Nationalism Conference at Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University is hosting a conference on April 8, 2022 entitled Religion, State, and Nationalism Conference: Problems and Possibilities. For more information, click here.

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.

Vatican II and Higher Education: Leading Forward

Sacred Heart University will host a regional conference on October 13-15, 2022 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Vatican II and the University's founding. For more information including a call for papers, click here.

Announcing the winner of the 2021 LFP Book Award

We are pleased to announce that On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom by David I. Smith has won the 2021 LFP Book Award. For more information and to see the five finalists, click here.

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.