Awhile back someone questioned the scholarly credibility of the Acton Institute on the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) Facebook page in connection with one of our student award programs, specifically contending the institute is “not scholarly.” To be sure, not everything the institute does is academic or scholarly.

The Blauwpoort in Leiden in the winter.But we do some scholarship, which as an academic and a scholar I like to think is worthwhile. In fact, our commitment to quality research is one of the things that is most remarkable about the institute.

So as an evangelical scholar at the Acton Institute, I was excited to have a chance to discuss the work we do, particularly with respect to the academic research the institute supports and publishes, with the Emerging Scholars Network, an outreach of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship “called to identify, encourage, and equip the next generation of Christian scholars who seek to be a redeeming influence within higher education.”

Given the ESN’s significant task, I was also glad to be able to extend an offer to the ESN community to become more familiar with the scholarly work of the institute by offering a complimentary two-year digital subscription to the Journal of Markets & Morality, our peer-reviewed publication indexed by the leading databases of both religion and economics. The latest issue includes our first installment of papers presented in connection with the Theology of Work Consultation of the Evangelical Theological Society.

For the whole interview with ESN’s Micheal Hickerson and details about the offer, visit the ESN blog.

  • Thanks for the link, Jordan. I think the whole question of “what is academic” or “what is scholarly” is a fascinating one. For example, did Wendell Berry cease to be a scholar when he left the University of Kentucky’s faculty? Or did the departure actually enhance his ability to be a scholar because it allowed him to devote more time to writing and living out his theories? Does an academic community require a university to exist? As I’ve heard from many ESN members who have struggled to find a place at a traditional university, I’ve been wondering if the solution to the now-decades-old “crisis of the humanities” will require alternative academic communities outside traditional academic structures. 

  • Steve McMullen

    Good move.  I love that Acton is responding to the argument this way.  The ESN is one of my favorite parts of InterVarsity, and it is a great way for organizations like Acton to connect with Christian grad students and young faculty.