Jeremiah 33:25-26 (see below)
Biologists study life processes â€“ perhaps we should be astounded by a world in which we can study! [Read more…] about God of an Orderly Universe (Scholar’s Compass)
2012 Lenten Reflection Series
Sweeping Up the Heart: A Father’s Lament for His DaughterÂ (Paul Nisly.Â Good Books, 1992) provides both a raw and a rich narrative of a Messiah College English professor’sÂ wrestling with God (and himself) after his daughter Janelle’s death. As you may remember fromÂ last week, several months after her Messiah College graduation and the beginning of the practice of nursing, Janelle was struck by aÂ tractor-trailer rig. The truck rear-ended several cars, then smashed over into the lane of oncoming traffic and right into her vehicle.
Imagine yourself as a colleague or a student of Paul, who in addition to being anÂ academicÂ serves as a bishop in the Mennonite Church:
After taking a few minutes to walk through the aboveÂ scenario, I encourage you to reflect on how you have addressed Paul’s three questions in your own life and/or those of close friends, family, and colleagues.
Wondering what insights Paul has to share with us? . . .Â
2012 Lenten Reflection Series
Last week I began the 2012 series withÂ Entering Lent: â€œI Wantâ€ in Higher Education. As you may remember, Kent Annan’sÂ Â After ShockÂ saturated my 2011 Lenten reflection. With Kent’s recent visit to South Central PA and the deep chord which “I Want” struck not only with me, but also a number of the students with whom I watched it, I wondered if my 2012 reflections would largely draw from his earlier bookÂ Following Jesus Through the Eye of the NeedleÂ (InterVarsity Press, 2009).Â Although this may still occur, on Friday I began reading a new book.
I picked up a copy ofÂ The Book Nobody Read: A Closer Look at the Book that Moved the WorldÂ byÂ Owen Gingerich,Â Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University and a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, at Hearts & Minds BooksÂ when dropping off materials from Scot McKnight’s Christian Scholar Series presentationÂ en route to have dinner with and then hear Owen present on the fascinating adventures related inÂ The Book Nobody Read. But that’s not the book I’m referring to 😉
As occurs in gatherings of Christian scholars and students, I connected with a number of people.* At the conclusion of theÂ lecture sponsored by theÂ Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science and Messiah College’s Center for Public Humanities,Â my friend Ted DavisÂ (who directs the Forum and is Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College) introduced me toÂ Paul Nisly. Paul is aÂ retired Professor of English at Messiah College with aÂ specialty is Southern literature. He particularly appreciates digging into William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. In addition to being an academic, Paul serves as a bishop in the Mennonite Church.
When introducing my work with the Emerging Scholars Network in South Central PA and the Christian Medical Society (CMS)/CMDA at the Penn State College of Medicine, I related the various speakers which we have hosted over the past twelve months. Messiah College alumnus Janel Atlas was among those whom I mentioned. As some of you may know, Janel presented at both the Medical Center and the Elizabethtown Public Library on They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010). Paul responded to Janel’s story and the work at PSU-Hershey by sharing some of his own loss. [Read more…] about Lent brings me back to reflections on loss, grief, suffering
Last week, Edward B. (â€œTedâ€) Davis, Distinguished Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College (Grantham, PA) and outgoing president of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), shared with us how he became interested in History of Science and some tips for Emerging Scholars as they seek academic positions. In this second post, we explore recommended resources for those interested in the History of Science. Letâ€™s get started â€¦
Thomas B. Grosh IV [TG]: For members of ESN with an interest in History of Science [HSC], what resources would you recommend as a place to get started? Would you have a book recommendation for a campus discussion group?
Ted Davis [TD]: Unfortunately many of the best historians of science write little or nothing for â€œpopularâ€ audiences, i.e., non-scholars. Ironically, the book that has probably sold more copies than any other book in my field, Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” (more than one million copies are reported to be in circulation), was written in terse academic prose for a very narrow audience, namely positivist philosophers of scienceâ€”whose work was, equally ironically, all but undermined by Kuhn, even though he had not intended to do so. Readers who like Kuhn should be able to handle almost anything else in HSC, regardless of the audience for whom it was written. I had to read two of Kuhnâ€™s books in Dr. Rosenâ€™s course at Drexel, and I found both of them fascinating despite my very limited acquaintance with HSC at the time.
The kind of literature that could attract a person to HSC, however, might actually be something that was not written by a professional Historian of Science, such as the books on history of physics that I mentioned in the first part of this interview. A perfect example is Dava Sobelâ€™s Galileoâ€™s Daughter:Â A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love. Sobel is neither a professional Historian nor even a scholar; she is a science writer who reads the professional scholars very carefully, understands them, and presents a very persuasive picture of Galileo life and his interactions with others in that book. I think that sheâ€™s a little too uncritical of the relationship between Galileo and his daughter, but overall the book is a very fine book. Anyone who likes that book might be interested in studying HSC. [Read more…] about History of Science Recommendations from Ted Davis
In preparation for next week’s 65th Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation,* I interviewed the outgoing ASA President, Edward B. (â€œTedâ€) Davis.Â As you may remember from an earlier post, Ted serves as the Distinguished Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College (Grantham, PA), and directs the Central Pennsylvania Forum for Religion and Science.Â Our conversation focused upon
Today’s post gives attention to #1 and #2.Â Next week, we turn to #3.
Thomas B. Grosh IV [TG]:Â This morning as you presented on The Galileo Affair: What Really Happened,** I don’t think anyone in the packed room could miss your passion for the History of Science.Â What sparked your interest in History of Science?Â Did you grow up desiring to know about the History of Science?
Ted Davis [TD]: I didnâ€™t know that there was a field called the History of Science until I was a student at Drexel.Â I did take a couple of courses at Drexel in the History of Science, during my senior year.Â They were taught by Dr. Richard Rosen, who has a doctorate in History of Science from Case Western. Â So I got a formal exposure to it at Drexel â€” for which I have always been grateful.
I was majoring in physics then.Â Originally I had intended to become an astronomer or astrophysicist, but by the time I took Dr. Rosenâ€™s courses I was becoming more interested in the humanities, and I had decided to try high school science teaching for at least a few years.Â I wasnâ€™t sure how much I would like it, or whether Iâ€™d be any good at it, but I ended up spending another year at Drexel, taking some graduate courses in physics and some undergraduate courses in education in order to get a teaching certificate. [Read more…] about Interview: Ted Davis, the Story of a Historian of Science