The publisher and editors of the Christian Scholar’s Review are pleased to announce the recipient of its annual award for best article. The winner of the Charles J. Miller Christian Scholar’s Award for volume 42 is Rick
Kennedy, professor of history at Point Loma Nazarene University. His article, “Educating Bees: Humility as a Craft in Classical and Christian Liberal Arts,” (Fall 2012) pages 29-42, was selected by a panel of jurors who carefully and thoughtfully read each article published in volume 42; in their estimation “Educating Bees: Humility as a Craft in Classical and Christian Liberal Arts” best achieved the goals of Christian scholarship set by CSR.
Rick Kennedy is the author of A History of Reasonableness: Testimony and Authority in the Art of Thinking (2004), Jesus, History, and Mount Darwin: An Academic Excursion (2008), and various books and articles on the history of colonial Harvard and New England. Educated at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he is past president of The Conference on Faith and History, a member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Professor of History at Point Loma Nazarene University, and an elder at the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego. Presently he is working with a team of editors on an edition of Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana and is finishing a short biography: Cotton Mather: The First American Evangelical (to be published by Eerdmans in 2014). Rick and his wife Susan, who is principal of City Tree Christian School in San Diego, have four children.
In his award winning essay Mr. Kennedy notes that modern discussion of the liberal arts has emphasized the development of the individual critical thinker and not the art of thinking socially. He then summarizes the four-step craft of social thinking that was long taught in the pre-modern tradition of liberal arts. This intellectual craft was not specifically named by the ancients but is evident in their use of honey-bee imagery. In the New Testament this intellectual craft can be best seen in the term tapeinophrosune which can be translated as “humblethink.” In offering an evaluation of Kennedy’s essay one juror writes that it “demonstrates a breadth of knowledge and scholarship that is impressive. [Moreover], the subject itself is surely timely for many Christian colleges and universities throughout the country as we struggle to find new ways of making the liberal arts compelling to our students.” A second juror notes that “Professor Kennedy’s notions of ‘humblethink’ and ‘faithcraft’ struck me as especially useful ways to think about the scope and purpose of liberal arts in a Christian context. The article challenged me to reconsider how I model balancing humility towards tradition and authority with critical thinking for my students. By highlighting the importance of social thinking in the Classical liberal arts, Professor Kennedy reminds us that the liberal arts are not primarily about developing individual intellectual prowess, but rather for developing and preserving better communities.”
We commend Mr. Kennedy for an article that is a model of insightful, interdisciplinary Christian scholarship. CSR thanks this year’s jurors, Dale Soden (Whitworth University), Hal Poe (Union University), and Jim Halverson (Judson University).