Monday, November 16, 2009

The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies

One of the more exciting developments here at Wheaton over the past few years has been the creation of the new Center for Early Christian Studies. George Kalantzis has spearheaded the project, and from the vantage point of the library I've been able to see its development in ways that others probably haven't... through the joyful spending of new book fund money on patristics resources.

As I understand it, a Greek Orthodox couple connected with the college felt that it would be important to support such a research center in an evangelical context, and donated a significant amount to getting things started. With a recent conference honoring Robert Webber and the more general interest in patristics that has been growing in evangelicalism, it seemed inevitable that something like this would get planted, and I'm sure similar ventures will follow elsewhere.

The Center doesn't currently have a physical location, and as far as I know there aren't any plans at this point to establish one. Funding is present that should substantially improve (indeed, is already in the process of improving) our patristics material here at the library. There is also a new undergraduate certificate program in early Christian studies, and tuition scholarships for graduate students who plan to pursue doctoral studies in patristics.

The inaugural lecture for the Center was given a few weeks ago by Robert Louis Wilken. I was unfortunately in the city at the time and couldn't make it, but the talk is now available online for those who are interested.


2 comments:

  1. Hands down, in retrospect, I would've studied Classics in college (I spent most of my time on modern literature) to pave the way for Patristics later on. Now I'm struggling to catch up. This looks to be a great undertaking at Wheaton.

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  2. Thanks for the link, Evan. Adam told me that Wilken spoke, but I did not know the talk was online; it's a great lecture (like all things Wilken). It has been largely patristic and medieval scholars, like Wilken and Steinmetz, who pulled me out of the "single meaning" view of Scripture that I inherited.

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