At ESN, we like to share opportunities to write for academic journals addressing various aspects of scholarship and faith. Friend of ESN David Winyard invites ESN readers to submit work to a special edition of the journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (the journal of the American Scientific Affiliation). Below, he shares some reflections on how meaningful scholarly writing about issues related to faith and science has been for him, invites interested readers to get in touch, and shares some kind words about ESN.
InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) helps graduate students through interesting articles, scholarship and job listings, academic advice, spiritual encouragement and prayers, conference announcements, and much more. Their goal is to help students live lives that display the love of Christ in many academic and professional fields. Besides reading, writing is a good way to develop and demonstrate this love. Writing a journal article shows that an emerging scholar has, in fact, emerged!
The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) invites you to write an article for its academic journal: Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (PSCF). The ASA is a network of Christians in the sciences. Through annual meetings, local chapters, and publications, the ASA fosters fellowship and helps to integrate scientific and Christian thought. Historians, pastors, and others participate alongside scientists, and student participation is always welcomed.
I have been surprised at how fulfilling it is to write about my faith and science. In my engineering classes, tests focused on one thingâ€”accountabilityâ€”but my exams in Science and Technology Studies (STS) were very different. They were learning opportunities, time to think through what I had read and to develop and express my ideas on the given topics. My two-week preliminary exam, consisting of six 2,000-word essays, was challenging, but I came away from it with a deeper understanding of the materialâ€”and myself. Writing for PSCF can be similarly fulfilling, an academic and spiritual blessing.
Academic writing can be difficult. Success often depends on choosing a worthy topic, but one that is small enough to explore within the specified word count. PSCF articles run from 2,000 and 8,000 words. That seems like a lot, but many more are needed to adequately cover big topics. A divide-and-conquer strategy helps. I often use a three-point, all-purpose outline: What? So what? and What else?
I am Guest Editor for a themed issue of PSCF. My dissertation was on Christianity and transhumanism: the social and philosophical movement that advocates fundamental â€œenhancementsâ€ to human life. There is much more to this topic than my dissertation could express. A comprehensive, biblical view of transhumanism is needed, and soon. Writing on some facet of this huge subject can serve the Lord and His people, and it will deepen the authorâ€™s faith too.
My invitational essay and its references may be useful in writing an article. Other resources include online PSCF archives, peer reviews that will offer constructive criticisms, and me. My transhumanism presentations at ASA Annual Meetings (2013â€“2014 and 2017â€“2018) are posted online. As Guest Editor, I stand ready to help you as much as possible until the transhumanism-themed issue of PSCF is published next year. Feel free to email me (winyard.david[at]gmail) with any questions or topic ideas, and please consider whether or not this opportunity is for you!
 David C. Winyard Sr., â€œTranshumanism-Christianity Diplomacy: To Transform Science-Religion Relations,â€ Ph.D. diss, Virginia Tech, 2016, https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/73484.