Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

jisHumanities and Interdisciplinary Studies: Modern, Postmodern, or Christian?
Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, Vol. XXIII, 2011

As the interdisciplinary movement gains momentum, Christian scholars need to reflect on viable interdisciplinary methods rooted in faith-learning integration. The humanities provide a starting point for such a method. The humanities were divorced from the natural sciences in the modern era and thus, aspects of reality that the humanities represent were alienated from academic conversations. This essay compares Frank Gaebelein’s approach in the modern context with William Dennison’s methods in the postmodern perspective. Both sought to develop an intentional method for Christian interdisciplinary studies. By synthesizing the best aspects of Gaebelein and Dennison, the humanities emerge as a potential focal point for epistemological pluralism or “multiple ways of knowing.” Such methodological openness, balanced by the unity and universalily of truth, enables Christian scholars to integrate knowledge from the humanities while transcending both modern positivism and postmodern relativism.

jsirsDepression, Recession, and Recovery: Niebuhr’s Christian Realism Applied to Macroeconomics. Journal for the Sociological Integration of Religion and Society, 2011.

Following decades of macroeconomic theories applied to counteract the business cycle, the Great Recession of 2008-2010 was an unexpected challenge to economic dogmas that had been part of American consciousness. In like manner, early economic principles such as the Protestant Ethic and the promise of industrial capitalism were challenged by the harsh injustices of the Great Depression in the 1930s. While it is tempting for people of faith to align with radical economic and political factions that purport unilateral solutions to economic problems, more often than not solutions are far more complicated and multifaceted than platitudes reveal. Following the Great Depression, Reinhold Niebuhr argued for a perspective of Christian Realism that could remain critical of both capitalism and socialism, and seek practical, moderate solutions to advocate both prosperity and justice for all people. Niebuhr’s perspective, when applied to macroeconomics, recognizes that corporations, individuals, and government are each inherently oriented toward corruption and thus, need one another for purposes of mutual security and accountability. Both imaginative and moderate possibilities for macroeconomic and social change are briefly explored.

Demassifying Religion: Futurist Interpretations of American Socioeconomic and Religious Change.
International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities
, 2011.

This article consists of a critical examination of American religious movements in light of the futurist categories of Second and Third Wave socioeconomic change. Alvin Toffler’s socioeconomic wave model is representative of shifting religious attitudes toward such socioeconomic change and sheds light on the evolution of religious thought during America’s economic transitions. Mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics were the dominant forces of mass religion in the Second Wave. Evangelicals, on the other hand, adopted Third Wave social and economic principles and emerged as the prominent American religious movement of the Third Wave; as society demassified, so did religious faith. Evangelical emphases on individualism and consumerism are examined as Third Wave socioeconomic values. In particular, the futurist wave model highlights the demassification of socioeconomic dynamics and consequently, the demassificaiton of religion in public life. By understanding the relationship between socioeconomic and religious change in the American context, other societies that undergo similar transitions can adequately adapt, preempt conflict, and develop creative solutions to social problems.


Books

Rust to RenewalRust to Renewal: A Case Study of the Religious Response to Deindustrialization
Vision Publishing, 2007

Deemed as “A Universal Glimpse of the Kingdom Now and Not Yet”, Rust to Renewal is guided by theory based on the work of futurist Alvin Toffler and the “wave” model of socioeconomic change. Through this lens, the author explores the history of Youngstown’s economy and religious communities. Drawing, parallels between religious attitudes and economic trends, the author presents a model by which Youngstown’s current economic crises can be both religiously and economically evaluated.

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