It is academic job application season and for the last little while Church History and Docrine at BYU has been including an interesting and thought-provoking question as part of the application process. In addition to traditional application materials, the job advertisement asks for:
…a statement (no more than 500 words) regarding your philosophy of integration of faith and reason in your scholarship and teaching. President Spencer W. Kimball charged BYU professors to “become ‘bilingual’ in speaking the language of scholarship and the language of the spirit.” Your statement should explain the role of faith and reason in your own academic experience and detail how you plan to integrate the “language of the Spirit” and the “language of scholarship” in your role as a BYU religion professor.
This question has got us thinking about what it means to be “bilingual,” and the nature of the division between ‘spirit’ and ‘faith’ on the one hand, and ‘scholarship’ and ‘reason’ on the other. Over the next few weeks FPR bloggers will be proving their answers to these tough questions. We invite our readers to offer their own thoughts as well.