Amidst the bustle on the first floor of the DeWitt Learning Commons (LC) stands a solitary tower tucked away by the biblical commentaries. It looks like any other display case—wooden, thin and nondescript. However, this one is special to both the faculty and staff.
It displays the latest publications of articles, journals, dissertations and books produced by faculty and staff at Northwestern over the last few years.
Four individuals with literature published in 2020 have had the honor of having their work exhibited: Dr. Dan Wacome, Dr. Doug Anderson, Dr. Keith Fynaardt and Dr. Jiying Song.
Wacome is an emeritus professor of philosophy who has been working on his book for the last few years after he hatched the idea while working on his tenure paper for NW. The Material Image: Reconciling Modern Science and Christian Faith is written for advanced undergraduates, Christian scientists or anyone interested in the intersection of science and faith.
“The book covers a lot of ground, not just in my own field of philosophy, but in theology and science as well,” Wacome said. “The book expresses the underlying conviction that when we trust God, what we learn in our lives will challenge and strengthen, but never threaten, our faith in Him.”
Wacome came across many people of varying stances. He met those who had abandoned their faith in favor of science and those who put away science altogether in what they viewed as an act of faith. Still there were others he met who had locked their science and faith in separate compartments never to meet. All of these interactions led him to write a book that hopes to reconcile the large divide between two categories so often juxtaposed.
Anderson, a reference librarian and archivist at the LC, helped take part in the book Dutch Reformed Education: Immigrant Legacies in North America. The book compiles articles from authors that presented at the June 2019 Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Dutch American Studies at Calvin College, now Calvin University. Anderson’s article “The Joyous, Jolly Academy Days’: Northwestern Classical Academy 1882-1928” accentuates NW’s years as an academy before becoming a junior college and then the 4-year college it is now.
“This was an opportunity to pull together some material from a larger project,” Anderson said. “It helps me and others know that I am getting something done, even if the larger project takes many years.”
Also involved in this larger project is the chair of the English department, Fynaardt. He participated in the AADAS conference in 2019, and his chapter “Farming across the Line: A Historical Reflection on the Hollander Fires” is bound up in the same book as Anderson’s. Fynaardt has belonged to the AADAS organization for many years and is connected by his Dutch-American heritage.
“The essay itself is, in part, personal wherein my experience is directly connected to the historical moment,” Fynaardt said.
His essay is a historical reflection on the infamous Hollander Fires that took place in New Sharon and Peoria, Iowa. American arsonists caught in the fray of the nationalist fever of WWI conspired to burn Dutch farmers and their land. Fynaardt hopes to bring to light these tragic events while enticing the audience through personal connection and reflection.
Song has three articles on display and published for the International Journal of Servant-Leadership, volume 14. “Servant-Leadership: A Holistic Life,” “Servant-Leadership in Turbulent Times: A Conversation with Larry C. Spears,” and “Servant First or Survival First? How Servant Leaders Lead During COVID-19” are all geared toward leadership practitioners, scholars and students. She has been working for the journal for four years.
“I think the careful reconstructions of the assumptions in business fields from a Christian perspective is a crucial task for the integration of faith and learning,” Song said.
All of the works published and displayed by these four authors hope to engage conversations inside and outside of their field to spur on further research and reflection on their topics.