The story of the university is abounding with Christian intellectual thinking both in personal capacities and as a community. They were pivotal in setting up renowned universities and colleges where learning theology and sciences were a natural order. But, as Mark Noll states in ‘The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind,’ with the influx of ‘new ideologies, social Darwinism, naturalistic science, and corporate funding, the synthesis of Christian convictions faded rapidly. Therewith, it also signalled the collapse of efforts to construct a Christian mind.’
Perhaps unaware of this greater calling Christian movements that minister in universities today, have resigned themselves to focusing on saving just the human soul. Lebanese scholar, Charles Malik, warns about such a parochial vision. He says that “the problem is not only to win souls but to save minds. If you win the whole world and lose the mind of the world, you will soon discover you have not won the world. Indeed, it may turn out that you have actually lost the world.” When would university movements redeem back it’s calling to the university as a whole.
TRACI with her calling to research, reflect and engage society as a whole, does see this lacuna among university movements as disturbing. The call to engage the whole of life and therefore the whole of all that makes up the university is deficient both in thinking and practice. Many have now been nurtured to minister just at the peripherals.
The Joy of Learning is a series engaging Faith and Scholarship of thirteen disciplines by scholars from Across South Asia. This initiative was possible in our partnership with IFES South Asia. Do find our books here.
Scholars Network Initiative:
- Come out with a clear understanding of God’s Call for the University through reflections.
- Training University mission personnel to nurture the whole person for the whole world.
- Faculty and Research Scholars would see their profession, not as a career, but as a vocation. They would also address from pulpits God’s revelation in His world.
- Christian Study Circles in universities will be platforms for students to make a critical enquiry on every existing ideology and participate in them with understanding.
- Call for paper presentations by research scholars and faculty on issues pertaining to our contexts. Such conferences do bring about a paradigm shift in our understanding of one calling in universities and the rest of the societies. Four such conferences were conducted in the last few years.
- Art and Writing residency for Christian students during the semester breaks is envisioned. Within the next 10 years, we hope to encourage 20 – 30 persons who communicate kingdom values through their works of art and writing.
- Univ. Talks are platforms to create bold and communicating Christians who would not only help society think relevantly but would also be agents of transformation.
- Scholars Network has commissioned faculty members across South Asia to write on their scholarship integrating it with the Christian faith and reflecting in their writings on the concerns of South Asia. The disciplines include-Medicine, Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Fashion Technology, Computer Science, Biotechnology, Engineering, Environmental Sciences Economics, Geography, Education, Literature, Law, History, Political Science and Sociology. Primarily written for students these writings will come out as monographs and books this year.
- Pandita Ramabai Study Group, a University Research Scholars initiative is a response to the felt need for space- an interdisciplinary workshop as it were where researchers could talk about the everyday issues related to their craft/discipline, and discuss any idea, question, concept, the problem they are grappling with currently in their work. It is a platform to also share portions of their work as it progresses- draft chapters, essays etc for comments and feedback from others.