In his book, Quality With Soul: How Six Premier College and Universities Keep Faith with Their Religious Traditions (Eerdmans, 2001), Robert Benne describes three liberal arts colleges (St. Olaf, Wheaton and Calvin) and three universities (Valparaiso, Baylor, and Notre Dame), which have “keep faith with their religious traditions.” In the wake of a secularizing trend in Christian higher education, these six schools, argues Benne, have all managed to combine academic rigor with a seriously religious education both inside and outside the classroom. To maintain “quality with soul” a college needs an overarching theological vision, an ethos of memory and purpose in engaging and extending its founding heritage, and, finally, the right people to own that heritage.
I would submit that current and former faculty and staff, current students, alumni and friends of Campbellsville University would identify this nearly century-old institution of Christian higher education as a school of “quality with soul.” Academic rigor, a Christian vision for intellectual life and a Christ-centered ethos of care and servanthood has and continues to characterize the quality and soul of Campbellsville University.
In an effort to sustain and contribute to the “quality with soul” of Campbellsville University, the mission of The Campbellsville Review is to publish material of intellectual merit to create a living record of the ongoing scholarly life of the university. In addition to publishing scholarly articles written by university faculty, the journal will also publish convocation addresses, lectures and other presentations by scholars and other persons who visit the university.
In this inaugural volume, the first three articles are recent convocation addresses. W. Morgan Patterson, distinguished Baptist historian, former seminary professor and college president and visiting scholar-in-residence at Campbellsville University from 2000-2003, raises a very appropriate question for a Christian university: “What does it mean to be educated as a Christian?” Greg Mobley, a 1979 alumnus of then Campbellsville College, offers a series of short reflections or meditations on what he learned from his loving father, an inspirational and challenging professor and a tragic event while a college student. Lastly, Perry Bramlett, founder of C.S. Lewis for the Local Church Interstate Ministries, shares his knowledge of the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien. He give special attention to The Lord of the Rings, identifying the Christian themes in this work as well as commenting on the recent movie versions of the book directed Peter Jackson.
The next set of articles comes from the pens of university faculty. Beth Graham offers an insightful essay on “the narrator’s role as fiction-builder and as ‘revealer’ in the “Night Shadows” passage in Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities.
Drawing upon selected biblical texts, the writing of Alan Paton and the poetry of Gerald Manley Hopkins, Bob Doty offers a prophetic word on the holiness of the earth and how integral earth stewardship is to a holistic Christian spirituality.
In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, citizens of the United States have been confronted with how we understand and identify “the other,” the “stranger in our land.” Through a reading of Leviticus 19:33-34, Dwayne Howell challenges the reader risk the practice of compassionate justice on behalf of the immigrant in our land.
Mark Medley offers a critical analysis and evaluation of the contours of the postfoundational evangelical theology being constructed by Stanley J. Grenz, noted Baptist theologian and a leading evangelical theologian in North America.
In an effort to fulfill the mission of the journal, the editorial board decided to institute an undergraduate and graduate student essay contest. This contest is co-sponsored by the Honor Program of the university. Winners of the contest will have his or her essay published in the journal, in addition to receiving a small monetary prize. For this inaugural volume there was no graduate student winner. The undergraduate student essay contest winner is Jennifer O’nan, a senior psychology major and philosophy minor from Frankfort, Kentucky. Her essay is a fine demonstration of faith-learning integration. Based on an assignment for her “Experimental Psychology” class, O’nan conducted a limited study of attitudes of Campbellsville University students toward the mentally ill.
With this new venture there are several persons and groups of persons that elicit deep gratitude. Dr. Michael V. Carter, President of Campbellsville University, has offered, with much enthusiasm, his full support for The Campbellsville Review. Frank Cheatham, Bob Doty, Kurt Grafton and Wesley Roberts have diligently and faithfully served as the founding editorial board for the journal. And lastly, the faculty of Campbellsville University deserves a word of thanks for its endorsement and support of the journal.
On behalf of the editorial board, I hope the reader is thrilled with the appearance of this first volume of The Campbellsville Review. I trust the reader will not only find the articles informative and illuminating, but also glimpse in and through these articles the “quality with soul” of Campbellsville University.
Mark S. Medley
The Feast of the Transfiguration