The CFI Fellows Program helps support the scholarly work of Gordon College faculty—and, occasionally, kindred spirits at other institutions—whose work strongly resonates with the mission of the Center for Faith and Inquiry.
The Center for Faith and Inquiry is pleased to announce its fellowships for 2013-14:
Random biological processes in humans, like those involved in genetic adaptations to an environment and adaptive immunity to disease, challenge traditional religious narratives of a divine being directly creating and sustaining human beings. This project considers the possibility that these genetic mechanisms, though random in the individual modifications produced, operate on such a large scale that the overall outcome is, in important respects, determinate. The possibility of these random processes being determinate provides a novel basis for religious narratives that involve indirect divine creation and sustenance of human beings. Such narratives are also consistent with what we know of human biology.
This study is designed to assess impacts of Christian organizational advocacy within churches aimed at changing attitudes on immigration reform. In cooperation with World Relief (WR), professor Melkonian-Hoover will evaluate the outcomes of its advocacy on attitudes of evangelicals concerning immigration and comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). She plans to pursue this research by undertaking focused surveys and interviews of parishioners of churches in two key sites in which WR has concentrated its efforts, Denver and Chicago. She will complement this research with analysis of recent public opinion data (Pew data from 2011 and 2012) evaluating non-religious factors (economic, partisan, etc.) as well as religious factors shaping evangelical attitudes on immigration and CIR.
Most of us are now familiar with the distinction between programs 'on the desktop' and 'in the cloud.' Similarly, one would have to withdraw from society not to understand the distinction between software you pay for and software you do not have to pay for. But there is a third, crucial distinction. It is the one between proprietary software and open-source software, and it is only vaguely understood by most of us. Over his time at Gordon, professor Crisman has become convinced that this distinction is of great significance, one with deep resonance with Christian thinking as well as practical implications for his teaching. Through his ongoing research and this Fellowship, he hopes to reach out to academic and lay audiences with this message.