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“The Truth That Makes Them Free”

{Our third guest post at TSR is Dr. Donald G. Davis, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Library History from The University of Texas at Austin. Don is the ‘godfather’ if you will of the UT faculty fellowship, having started and led it with colleague Dr. John Cogdell (Engineering) through the 1970’s and 80’s. He has been a great supporter and cheerleader for me as I attempt to fill the shoes he’s left for me. He’s writing today about his latest project. We’d appreciate your prayers as he makes the final push to complete this project soon.  –RJW}

“Finding God at Texas” is shorthand for a project that compiles the faith journey stories of faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin.  It is modeled on the significant volume Finding God at Harvard:  Spiritual Journeys of Thinking Christians, edited by Kelly Monroe Kulberg (IVP, 1996, rev. 2007).  The Texas volume will actually be titled “The Truth That Makes Them Free”: Spiritual Journeys of Christian Faculty Members at Texas—drawn from the words from John 8:32 that are inscribed in stone across the front of the University’s landmark Main Building and Tower.

The project is five years in progress at present and represents an attempt to get the diverse group of Texas faculty members, represented primarily by those who are attached in some way to the Christian Faculty Network.  Following a great deal of inviting, cajoling, and pleading some dozen or so quite diverse colleagues have accepted the challenge.  They have written essays about their stories of God’s work in their lives before coming to Austin and during their careers here—reflections on what they have experienced and what they have learned about their dependence on God’s faithfulness.

At the moment we are tying up some loose ends, including a high level person to write the foreword, do some minimal copyediting, secure concrete publication and marketing support.  The Introduction to the work spells out the details of conception, rationale, intended audience, and possible impact, including a healthy dialogue that does not ignore spiritual values from the academy.  Let me shamelessly quote myself:

“The goal of this brief volume is to open and stimulate that dialogue and to allow Christian faculty members to fulfill that mandate, without fear and with sensitivity and respect for others who do not share their views.”

One could hope that other universities might develop their own local collections of faith journey stories from faculty members on their campuses.

{Watch this space for updates on publishing status. If you are interested in a copy, let us know via the email link below.}


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