Monday, as always, is a student letter day.


I really appreciated the discussion of postmodernism in your fictional Office Hours dialogue “The Big Story.”  I am a second year graduate student in a liberal English department.  Postmodernism is my teachers' favorite intellectual child.  It has been a struggle to reconcile my academic work with my faith.  “Office Hours” has given me a heartfelt look at the role Christians ought to be playing in the intellectual and university community.


You're doing much better than I did in graduate school; I had already abandoned my faith and didn't return to it until I was out and teaching.  So many things have changed since then; Christians are discovering each other in academia and reintegrating their faith with their scholarship.  An ancient Christian saying is Unus Christianus, nullus Christianus -- “a sole Christian is no Christian.”  That's no less true in academia than in any other walk of life.

A number of Catholic and Protestant scholars have told their own stories.  If it would give you a lift to read some of them, try Kelly Monroe Kullberg’s Finding God at Harvard: Spiritual Journeys of Thinking Christians.  You can read the account of my own conversion here.  Protestant, Catholic, and ecumenical scholarly associations also exist in many of the disciplines, and are easy to find online.  Christians have begun to promote renewal in several academic fields.  For example, two generations ago the philosophy of religion was dead and most philosophers took atheism for granted, but since then philosophy of religion has experienced a resurrection, most of its leading practitioners are theists, and most of the theists are persons of Christian faith.

Our literary culture used to be Christian.  Maybe you will be one of the pioneers in its rebirth!  May the Father of Lights illuminate your intellect and set lamps on the path of your studies.