Teaching as an Act of Faith: Theory and Practice in Church-Related Higher Education

By Arlin C. Migliazzo | Go to book overview

3
At the Lectern Between
Jerusalem and Sarajevo: A
Christian Approach to
Teaching Political Science

Ron Kirkemo


A PERSONAL CONTEXT

THE SEARCH FOR LINKAGES between our faith and our learning, in particular our theological world of love, hope, and grace and our political world of power, pride, cooperation, and destruction, or between Jerusalem and Sarajevo, is a continuing quest. On one hand, to compartmentalize or separate the classroom lectern and its academic scholarship from the chapel podium and its Christian message is a dereliction. On the other hand, I fear the other approach of seeking a tight integration, for those who claim they know what constitutes a Christian policy for welfare reform or nuclear strategy or tax policy have far too often merely baptized their self-interest in the waters of shallow hermeneutics. A third approach to link Christianity and political science uses political science methodologies to study behavior and attitudes of Christians in politics. There is value in that approach, but I find it too narrow. My fourth approach is both more cautious and more ambitious. I prefer to work with models rather than absolutes and certainties, building models of both theology and political science and testing them against each other, finding persuasive linkages, research topics, and a Christian political perspective.

I have the good fortune to teach at an evangelical Christian

-41-

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