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In this episode of the Saturdays at Seven Podcast, Todd Ream interviews George Marsden, the Francis M. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Todd and George discuss how the Christian Scholar’s Review began and how it has grown over the years. George also talks about his newly published book, An Infinite Fountain of Light: Jonathan Edwards for the 21st Century, as well as the updated version of The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship that will be published soon.
- Edmund Clowney, theologian and preacher
- George Marsden’s book, Jonathan Edwards: A Life
- C.S. Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity
- Kathleen A. Mahoney and John Arnold Schmalzbauer’s book, The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education
Todd Ream: Welcome to Saturdays at Seven, Christian Scholar’s Review’s conversation series with thought leaders about the academic vocation and the relationship that vocation shares with the Church. My name is Todd Ream. I have the privilege of serving as the publisher for Christian Scholar’s Review and as the host for Saturdays at Seven. I also have the privilege of serving on the faculty and the administration at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Welcome to Saturdays at Seven. Our guest is George M. Marsden, the Francis M. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Welcome Dr. Marsden.
George Marsden: Thank you. Glad to be here.
Todd Ream: In May 1970, you were one of the 14 professors at Wheaton College who planned for the transition of the Gordon Review to Christian Scholar’s Review. To start, what can you tell us about that meeting and what you and your colleagues were considering and your aspirations at that time?
George Marsden: Well, I went, um, down to the meeting with Charles Miller, Charlie Miller who later was very, well, who continued to be very active with Christian Scholar’s Review. He was a Wheaton graduate and so there was a Wheaton connection, and the people at Calvin that supported the review were almost all people who were not Dutch. Ed Erickson was there. Ron Wells later was active.
But it was important for making connections among the various schools. It started with the Gordon, Gordon Review. They couldn’t go on. And so George Brushaber, who was the editor, he made things happen and they transitioned to a magazine that would be supported by a range of Christian colleges. So that anticipated to some extent the coalition, whatever it’s called now, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and was part of a general move among evangelical scholars to try to more and more organizations get together. And that was an important set of developments that was going on during that time.
Mentioned one, one incident that more than once on the ride down to Wheaton, Charlie Miller told me about, he was a friend of Billy Graham at Wheaton when they were students and that, um, he and Billy Graham, he said, walked the streets of Wheaton late at night one night where Billy Graham was agonizing about whether he should go into anthropology and Charlie advised him that he should, which almost immediately. Be a good example that not everyone should become a scholar. Anyway, it was the people who knew and admired Billy Graham that brought together this coalition of scholars and they, there was a need, there was a great need for scholarship at that time. There just weren’t very many prominent people in the, in, in those fields, in most of the fields.
Todd Ream: In what ways has Christian Scholar’s Review met the expectations that you and your colleagues had on that day?
George Marsden: Well, it’s still there and in some ways it looks the same as it did in the print edition, but I think it’s great that you’re, that, the online presence of it and, you know, can expand it. I don’t know how much of an audience you get. And it’s certainly potential to date it to be international. So it’s one of the links to give Christian scholars some assurance or other people in the field and learn from each other as a place to share ideas. So, yeah, so it must be of some value. Maybe it doesn’t prove anything, but it’s lasted this long. So great.
Todd Ream: Yeah. In what ways, if any, has it yet to meet the expectations that you had on that day?
George Marsden: Oh, I think it’s met the- I think the expectation was it would be a link for bringing scholars together of Christian scholars with common interests and at the time it was we were such a minor group and we proving that we could have a, we could have a scholarly journal just as well as, um, fine schools might and that has long since, I think, been well established.
Todd Ream: As you look back on the arc of your career as a historian then, with what questions have you found yourself called to grapple, called to contend with?
George Marsden: Well, I’ve seen my principal calling as a historian to try to figure out or the Church try to sort out the essential from the accidental and the historical things that are determined more by the culture than by the Christian tradition. When I started, I still have the sense that a lot of people grow up in the church and then they finally says some of the things that being taught to still, they’re supposed to be the old time Gospel, but it’s they’re new and so I did a lot of work trying to, to sort that out. To say where did these traditions come from and how can we both value them and be critical of them? And one of the things I think is important about Christian scholarship is unlike some other partisan scholarships, is to be self-critical. That, that I’ve always seen a major dimension of Christian scholarship is that we’re trying to help people refine their beliefs so we’re not just celebrating a particular tradition.
Todd Ream: In what ways were those questions both personal as well as professional?
George Marsden: Well a lot. I think that’s true of most scholars, at least historians, and I know that their scholarship is autobiographical in, in some degrees because these are the questions that are you’re wrestling with and you’re willing to spend a couple years researching and trying to figure out and that you’re trying to be edifying for yourself as well as for some other people.
Todd Ream: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Many prominent historians today credit you for the mentorship and the guidance that you provided them when they were doctoral students um, or as young professionals, as a young historian who provided such guidance and mentorship for you?
George Marsden: Well, I was thinking about that, and um, in graduate school I didn’t have that kind of personal guidance particularly. I did have someone in seminary. I went to Westminster Theological Seminary, and Edmund Clowney was a great influence and he was a model of being a friend to the students. And I found in my career, the students that I’ve taught many of them are still my best friends. And that, um, that seemed to be a natural dimension of teaching and particularly wonderful, well certainly, undergraduate teaching too but particularly in graduate teaching where you have people that are there and then you can get together and have social, social events with them and get to know them and their families and that work has worked out very well. So I think it’s a good kind of model for you, trying to make teaching more than just the classroom. You can’t, not everyone can do it. You’re not always in a situation where you have that kind of any smaller classes that to do that, but that can work.
Todd Ream: Yeah. In your estimation then, what, what do we owe the next generation of scholars that are coming through graduate school or starting their careers right now?
George Marsden: Oh, boy. Well, the, um, that’s a good question because of the changing nature of academia and particularly, I mean, those of us in the humanities back 30 years ago when there were lots of jobs, I still, when someone came in to graduate to apply to graduate school, I would say to them, you have to go into history because you love it and you would do it even if you didn’t get paid to do it. And because you might, you might not get paid to do it.
Well, that’s the situation today. And you might have to just warn people about the prospects. And I guess what we owe is to do what we can to keep the strong disciplines, particularly the integrating disciplines that have made Christian higher education what it is today, and many of its strengths to keep them there and not allow it, Christian higher education to become simply vocational as it may. I mean, it’s good to have Christian vocations being taught and learned, but there are the wider dimensions of understanding world and life are very important as well.
Todd Ream: Yeah. Yeah, if we shift now to your most recent book, then An Infinite Fountain of Light: Jonathan Edwards for the 21st Century. Um, this is not your first book on Edwards, but it’s in fact your third book. Your first book Jonathan Edwards: A Life won both the Bancroft and the Schaff prizes. And then the second was A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards. Um, you’ve also published other books since you’ve started this journey with Jonathan Edwards too, a book on C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, as well as a religious history of the 1950s. Um, but in terms of the time that you’ve spent with Edwards, what can you describe the thought process that would lead you to spend basically a quarter century now considering his life and his legacy and his work?
George Marsden: Yeah, it’s actually not quite uh, I mean, I’ve been that, that long that I’ve been concentrating on Edwards. So I’ve taught Edwards for forever. But, um, the reason there are two biographies was that at one point, Mark Noll asked me to contribute a short biography of Edwards for the Eerdmans series, do that, and then later my another former student of mine, Harry Stout, said, would you write a big biography of Edwards for Yale Press for the anniversary of his 300th anniversary of his birth? I said, oh, that’d be great.
So, but then I’d have to commit to Eerdmans to still do that. So I ended up doing two. In the meantime, between those I gave some lectures on Edwards at Princeton Seminary. And they were the essence of what’s become this book, it’s rec, the book is not those lectures, but it’s, they’re recognizably related and it’s the evolution of them after 15 years of teaching uh, Edwards.
I taught as an adjunct for a good number of years at Calvin Theological Seminary and had seminars on Edwards. So it refined my thinking on Edwards. So the new book is a distillation of what I think is really good in Edwards. And not everything in Edwards is all that attractive, but there are some things that are really attractive. And so it’s, it’s, the good side of Edwards and the things that I have benefited from in studying Edwards over the years. I early on in my career when I was in graduate school, I discovered Edwards and I thought, boy, this is really illuminating stuff, and I still think that and I try to explain the reasons why.
Todd Ream: Yeah. Along those lines then in the opening pages of An Infinite Fountain of Light, you write, “I found Jonathan Edwards especially helpful both in challenging assumptions of our own age and offering invigorating guidance in my own quest to follow Jesus Christ.” Would you please share with us a few details concerning how Edwards challenges those assumptions of our own age, as well as what he offered you in terms of invigorating guidance?
George Marsden: Yeah well, the challenge is, the way I set that up in, in the book and in lectures, I set him up in contrast to Benjamin Franklin. And Franklin’s world is a world, a psychological world, and that world has become a world of impersonal forces that the, the people, modern people have come to see the universe as essentially an impersonal set of chances that somehow life popped up and personality popped up but we don’t quite know how or why.
Whereas Edwards, starts out with the origin of the universe is the explosive love of God to reveal Christ, and there’s a mystery and a beauty and darkness but there’s an essential light and the world is essentially personal, and I have a sense that there’s a personal dimension to reality and to the beauty around you or don’t see around you that, that to me has long been a very important dimension.
I also confessed Edwards to, um, the tradition of Whitefield, not necessarily Whitefield, but the evangelical tradition has been free floating, market driven, and has a tendency towards superficiality, whereas Edwards is very helpful in seeing the evidences of genuine Christian conviction and particularly in, in the last parts of religious affections uh, the, the, the, the the traits that you should expect in, in, in a genuine in a genuine Christian.
And I found that and also just the sensibility of cultivating a sense of beauty in the universe, a beauty of Christ’s love very helpful. I found it, yeah, I studied, I did a little book on C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, and I found a lot of interesting parallels between those two, even though Edwards is a theological maximalist and Lewis is a theological minimalist. They’re both in the Augustinian tradition and find sort of the essence of that tradition that I find illuminating.
Todd Ream: Yeah. Thank you. Along those lines again too, Edwards is not the only one to whom you’ve turned, although you again have spent the time and the effort to produce three considerable books on him.
But you also note that you’ve been helped and inspired at times by Augustine, J.S. Bach, Pascal, Kierkegaard, the Niebuhr brothers, H. Richard and Reinhold, as well as Martin Luther King and J. R. R. Tolkien. And you know, as you just mentioned, C. S. Lewis, how did you come to determine such a group, and in what ways have you benefited from them?
George Marsden: Well, I don’t know how I came to determine the group. I mean, it’s people that what they’ve said is stuck with me over the years and I and I can come back to any of them and still find some exhilarating sorts of ideas and yeah, I would think most people have a set of heroes, heroines of that of that sort, but I, you know, years ago and before much technology, I had a big card box of a card file of quotations from, from, from these various, various people that that I kept around that, just to remind me to go back to remind me to now you can do it much more easily.
Todd Ream: For young scholars seeking to find their way today, what advice would you offer them in terms of identifying their own group, um, their own set of voices to whom they can turn for comparable guidance?
George Marsden: Well, I really, I mean, I’m like C. S. Lewis looking for the those things that have been essential to the Christian tradition over the years. The, the, the things that have lasted and it is part of my, my general sense of what I’m trying to do as a scholar is to distinguish the essential and the lasting from the more ephemeral and, and, and, and, and the things that are culturally determined. And so, just to look for the grand tradition of Christianity and not get too hung up on particular sub movements that it would exclude everybody else. Yeah. I mean, look that, Lewis sensibility of trying to embrace as many as wide a range as you can, not everyone, but as wide as you can.
Todd Ream: I want to turn now to the topic of Christian scholarship in a larger sense. Only a few other persons, in my estimation, have argued for the merits of Christian scholarship with the depth and the clarity that you have. And you’re presently preparing to publish a new edition of The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship. Originally published in 1997, what did you hope the audience would gain from that edition of the book?
George Marsden: Well, yeah, it’s back then, one of the things I was trying to do was to say to the academic critics of Christian scholarship that Christian scholarship was just as legitimate as other kinds of scholarship that’s guided by particular basic assumptions and the kind of the kind of a pop argument of what my colleague Alvin Plantinga, was arguing philosophically.
And at the same time, I realized that the book is a guide for Christian scholars, and I was hoping it would be used, too, for some younger Christian scholars to say, how do we do this? What are the important dimensions of it? How do you get a healthy version of that? And that’s what it’s been, been mainly, I think.
Todd Ream: Approximately a quarter century later with the new edition then, what do you hope this generation of readers will get from the new edition?
George Marsden: Well, what I see is that some major changes have taken place since the 1990s. Back then there, there was a cadre of really good scholars who were very critical of Christian scholarship on, on, more or less, on the grounds that it lacked empirical basis, and they tended to be people who had grown up Christian and then found academia as a kind of liberating force, and they were indignant that people were trying to put Christianity back in academia.
I think today, there’s so much diversity and so little of a center that you don’t have to argue that case anymore. That, uh, scholarship from a particular perspective is legitimate. But what’s different is I think as Mark Noll has put it the mainstream academia today is sort of an intellectual Wild West, and it’s-
Todd Ream: I could get behind that.
George Marsden: There’s a lot of opportunity there, but there’s a lot of danger there. And if you say the thing you might get you might get shot down and uh, either from the right or or from the left. I mean, in the nineties, what I was thinking about was critics from the left, but today there’s two groups of people who might find Christian scholarship outrageous.
And that raises the issue of how in the world do we communicate to the Church, the churches? And I think that’s the major challenge for Christian scholarship in, in now and, and for the immediate future, how can you build bridges to churches to- You have this really good scholarship. There’s a terrific renaissance in Christian scholarship in the past 30, 40 years since I’ve seen it take place, and there’s all these great scholars out there. It’s a worldwide enterprise, yet there’s an awful lot of people in the churches that aren’t paying attention and really are suspicious of scholarship.
So I think there’s a lot of bridge building needs to be done. And I think one, one way to do it is particularly through Christian higher educational institutions, encouraging people to be pastors who are, who read books. I mean, I think the late Timothy Keller is a great example of that kind of need and if you can get people to read the good scholarship that’s out there, it will be helpful to the Church, but you need mentors who are willing to build bridges like that.
And so anyway, I see that as a challenge. I’m not sure I have exactly what the answer is, other than a general sensibility of scholarship that’s attractive in these communities that do it are attractive. And people are saying, boy, you know, I admire those people. And I quote David Brooks where he says that part of what brought him to Christianity was just hanging out with Christian scholars, educated Christians around and just saying, well, these people have something, something to say.
And, and, and there are people like that and a circle of people around Brooks and Keller was part of it and, and uh, and, a dozen others, who are communicating to broader audiences, but they’re reaching mostly the more progressive side. But nonetheless, I think that’s great that you have these people who are bridges between Christian scholarship and public intellectuals. We really need great public intellectuals.
Todd Ream: Now that’s one of our hopes, in terms of what we’re able to afford the next generation of Christian, Christian scholars is the opportunity and the ability to work through practices that can prove to be of outreach to the Church and of greater service to the Church. I think, as you noted, we have now developed over the course of the last 50 or so years tremendous resources and momentum in terms of Christian scholarship. But how to share it with the Church in ways that the Church appreciates and understands, and the ability to take that message, I think that’s a real growth area for us in the months and years to come.
George Marsden: Yes, I’ve often said that the Body of Christ has a lot of parts, and they need each other, and scholars aren’t the most important part, but they’re, but they are, I think there’s a good argument that they’re essential, but in the market driven churches that we have, it’s hard, there’s no magisterium to say, you got to do this kind of, you got to listen to this tradition. It used to be in, in Protestant churches. They had a strong intellectual base, but now it’s whatever works and scholarship isn’t really that appealing to most people.
Todd Ream: I want to turn now to the predecessor of The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship, and that was your book The Soul of the American University. And a book for which you prepared an updated edition in 2021, and was the focus of a review symposium in CSR’s 50th anniversary edition.
When thinking about the threats to the role Christianity plays in academia, along the lines of what we were talking about that Mark referenced as the Wild West, um, how, if at all, do you think those threats have changed since ’94? Um, can you talk about that in a little greater specificity, um, from the time you wrote that book to, to where we are today?
George Marsden: Well, in 1984, we were still and, and, and during the years, eight or nine years before that, when I was working on that, we were still in the wake of, there had been a Protestant establishment in higher education. And so, you know, when I went to school in the fifties, that was still noticeable and major universities would have Christian ceremonies, even state universities, for their graduations and, and there, there were remnants of that. And so that book is the story of that establishment and to be critical as, as well as appreciative of it, that it wasn’t all that great that you have one religious group shaping everything. But there was of course advantages for Christians, but I was telling that story and then saying, where do we stand now?
I think what’s become clear in the last 30 years is one: secularization isn’t inexorable and it is not, it’s not a story that things are just gonna get more and more secular. And there’s a book by, um, Schmalzbauer and Mahoney, the Resilience of Religion in Higher Education, and they document that there’s resilience of religion in higher education. So I think today if Christians promote a healthy sort of pluralism, where they are good citizens, they are scholars who respect evidence and argument and they also are, as James Hunter puts it, a faithful presence, so that there’s an effective quality Christian scholarly communities can do well within the mainstream, because they can turn the Wild West into a healthy kind of pluralism.
I think I just heard uh, some, some uh, professors from St. Louis University who are part of the Carver Project and John Inazu has promoted pluralism there, and they said they really get respect from the rest of the university. They’re openly Christian scholarships, and they’re good people who do what they do well, and that works. And I think that’s a model that can be cultivated. I think Christian study centers are another important model to, within a university, to show here’s a community of people, thoughtful people, who are not- They’re not pushing some sort of partisan thing, but they’re thinking about what does it mean to have faith in scholarship? Where does faith fit within this academic community?
And those have been quite, quite successful, and I think are good, good models of what can be done. So I think I, also like Jonathan Rauch’s, his Constitution of Knowledge that I think it’s important that Christians be among those who are really supporting a, uh, good standards in academia and other scholars who aren’t Christians will appreciate that and say, hey, these people are doing something.
And I certainly found that, I complained about American academia, um, but I found in my own career, I could speak as a Christian and studying Jonathan Edwards and say, there’s a lot here and be sympathetic and still that didn’t disqualify me from, you know, in the academy. And I think that’s simply true that if you do your work well, people will pay attention.
Todd Ream: In addition to serving on the faculty at Duke University Divinity School, you also served on the faculty at Calvin as well as then finished your career out at the University of Notre Dame. Um, in your estimation, what can evangelical scholars learn, say, from Catholic scholars?
George Marsden: Well, I think what we have learned, I’m not sure where, is that we are on the same team and we can cooperate with each other and I think it’s been it was great at Notre Dame that they began bringing in Protestant scholars about time I got there. There was really an impressive group of Protestant scholars at Notre Dame and most of the Catholic scholars are very sympathetic.
There are some who thought that who were still suspicious of Protestants. And I think that if you go back 50 years, there’s suspicion between Catholics and Protestants is, is remarkable and now that’s, that’s pretty dissipated and, and, and, and Baylor is another example where you have this predominantly Protestant school, but there’s a good Catholic presence, and Protestants and Catholics can work together. I think philosophers have probably done the best in putting that together, because they more easily find common ground, and Protestants and Catholics have different Church communities that they’re addressing, but there’s a lot of commonality that can be cultivated.
Todd Ream: How do you think we can go about doing that and increasing the relations then between those two groups and how they can benefit from one another?
George Marsden: I don’t know a good answer to that. I wonder if there’s something like publications like yours can do to cooperate with parallel Catholic groups or, you know, publish the best, you know, each other’s best articles or something that as a way of signaling, we’re working together on this and what can we, what can we learn from you. That, that would, might be one, one, one method, and uh, yeah, I guess, I mean, as Christian colleges and universities, it’s still sometimes controversial to have Catholics come in and speak, but that kind of thing certainly can be encouraged, and sometimes it works very well.
Todd Ream: Turn back to what we were talking about just a few minutes ago in terms of the Church and the Church being an important public for Christian scholars to reach. Um, and part of the reason I ask this is that in An Infinite Fountain of Light you write, about how Christian historians serve the Church. In fact, actually, I believe you referenced historians being like hobbits, um, and those hobbits who were called to file and preserve and to provide guidance for conversations that needed depth in terms of narration. In evangelicalism today, what are some ways you would recommend historians offer that kind of perspective to the Church?
George Marsden: Well, I think, yeah, I like the Hobbit analogy because it points out that one thing we don’t have the answers, but we can be, and we’re not the leaders, and we’re not, the people that are going to charge ahead, but we can say where we’ve been and what some good prospects might be, we can be helpful. So, being a faithful presence, I think is, is, is, is a good way of thinking about what you’re, one of the ways of thinking about what you’re trying to do as a scholarship. And well, the hobbit analogy also implies community, building community.
And I think that relates to what you said about mentoring people and, um, just the whole idea that one of the major things we should be working on is trying to establish healthy communities where people can support each other, communicate with each other. It’s in, in many ways today, it’s a lot easier to communicate, to establish a community but the problem is that there’s so many communities that you can be part of that, that it’s hard to, it’s hard to get a real identity that’s sorted out from things, but on the ground communities in particular places still are very important.
I think that’s why Christian colleges and universities are important. You have opportunity to be in an intentional Christian community and study centers same kinds of things. So I think a presence of a group of people, and of course churches are major major communities, and then scholars need to be integrated into, into, into their churches and participating in them and contributing to them.
Todd Ream: If I may, I want to ask you to unpack that last part there just a little bit more in terms of Christian scholars being integrated into their church communities. Um, in your estimation, what role should the Church play in terms of how Christian scholars understand their vocation, nurture their calling and help advance it? What role should the Church play or can the Church play in that sense?
George Marsden: Well, I think just somehow you have to convince churches that they need to support educational institutions. And the most obvious are theological seminaries, which is the, you know, major source of Christian scholarship. But they’re on hard times now as well, and people don’t have to go to a, you can get an online degree. And so the community aspect that’s been so important for shaping the intellectual part of churches is diminishing.
So I think churches need to address that crisis and put some resources into how do we compensate for that vacuum that’s in danger of being created that the again is part of the general picture I see of a kind of divorce between lots of scholars out there. And lots of churches out there, but not paying much attention. I mean, very good attention to each to each other’s and and and it’s also part of what happens is there’s a lot of scholarship today is critical of what’s going on in particularly in evangelical churches. So on, on the one hand, the criticisms may be needed but it, but it also makes the problem more difficult of how do you bridge how do you bridge the, the, the gap and how, how do, I mean, you need to be critical insiders somehow.
And I’m not sure exactly what the, um, what the answer is. But I do think that the decline in theological communities. It’s a big, big problem that a lot of people- I hang out sometimes with people my age who were shaped by that kind of community, and I wonder whether that’s going to be, you know, continued to be happening.
Todd Ream: Yeah. As we close out our conversation and perhaps my last question could be, in what ways do you understand the success of the Church and the success of Christian colleges and universities as being tied to one another, as being of mutual benefit and service to one another?
George Marsden: Well, I think Christian colleges and universities should be seen as sources for training, deepening the Christian commitment of people who are going to be in, in some sense, leaders in, they don’t necessarily leaders in the sense of being pastors but there are lots of you know, pastors and teachers and being good citizens in, in churches and they can be a leaven in, in, in lots of church. I mean, the in, in churches.
Over the years that you visit places and you run into, there’s somebody in a church or community that really holds things together and is well respected, and they come out of these, they’ve been trained that way. So I think that’s an important goal to keep, um, to keep in in, in mind and to help churches and encourage churches to to see that as a role that they can send, they encourage your young people to, um, to go to these places and, and then come back, which is always a danger that people may you know, go from a church to a college and then become alienated from the church. Anyway, we need to be bridge builders, but I, you’re in a better position to do that than maybe I am.
Todd Ream: I work with three and four year olds on a Sunday morning in part because that’s the space where I can truly be myself, I think in part. Thank you, George. Our guest today is George M. Marston, a Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Thank you for sharing your insights and wisdom with us today.
George Marsden: Thank you very much.
Todd Ream: Thank you for joining us for Saturdays at Seven, Christian Scholar’s Review’s conversation series with thought leaders about the academic vocation and the relationship that vocation shares with the Church. We invite you to join us again next week for Saturdays at Seven.