Towards a Christian Approach to Academic Engagement

An approach to academic engagement is being developed by, with and for the UK Christian Academic Network. It seeks to engage with mainstream thought, rather than either antagonise or acquiesce.

Overview essay on The Gospel and Academia: Why and How? covering Theological Motivation, Strategic Approach, Practical Method and Conceptual Tool. A personal reflection, looking back on life as a Christian academic.

Two strands have so far been developed, SDC: Shaping Our Disciplines for Christ, and LACE: Listen, Affirm, Critique and Enrich. SDC is at a higher, more abstract level, including about motivation. LACE is at the more practical level.

Theological Motivation (Summary)

Covers the Creational Mandate, how it applies to academic activity, the impact of human sin, and the three dimensions of Salvation opened up by Jesus Christ. Christ's people are intended to 'shepherd' academia so that it flourishes as it was intended to.

For now, see the essay above.

But how? What strategic direction should we take, and what methods? Are there any tools available to help us?

Strategic Approach, SDC: Shaping Our Disciplines for Christ

We Christians should engage positively with mainstream thought; this poses six strategic questions on why and how we might do so.

Practical Method, LACE: Listen, Affirm, Critique, Enrich

A way of engaging with mainstream thought.

Conceptual Tool, Dooyeweerd's Aspects

One conceptual tool that provides penetrating focus for listening, affirming, critiquing and enriching is the suite of aspects by the Dutch Christian philosopher, Herman Dooyeweerd. It has proven very useful in both teaching/learning and research, because they enable us to separate out clearly the various spheres of meaning that we find that others discuss. For now, see the following:

See also:



Author: Andrew Basden.

First created: 16 January 2021 Last updated: 18 January 2021. 4 October 2021 new title and intro; link to cts home, corrected seealso links. 11 October 2021 link to Vinoth R. 29 May 2022 Recommendations. 21 June 2022 essay and sections.