Thinking from Below: the Place of the Everyday in Contemporary Scholarship
The Lutheran Academy of Scholars Summer Seminar
The Lutheran Academy of Scholars invites faculty from all fields of study to consider the often overlooked profundities of everyday life. A widely held stereotype views academics and intellectuals as those who rise above the contingencies of the everyday life to contemplate higher, ideal truths. Counter to that image, artists and intellectuals today have a converging interest in understanding the human condition "from below," i.e. with detailed attention to the everyday behavior of people. In many fields of study, a consensus is emerging that we get a window into "the human" not by broad theorizing about "humanity" but by studying the details of human lives as actually lived. This current re-appropriation of the mundane corresponds to and has roots in Luther's and Lutheranism's interest in the everyday: the priesthood of all believers, the understanding of secular life as vocation, the theology of the cross, God's presence in the sacraments. This seminar will explore ways these Lutheran themes converge with the range of re-appropriations of the quotidian evident throughout the academy today.
Dr. Ronald Thiemann will conduct the seminar each morning with participants taking turns presenting the common readings. Afternoons and evenings are unscheduled times when participants will prepare for seminar discussions of common texts as well as pursue their individual research projects relating to the seminar theme. Participants will have access to Harvard’s libraries during the two weeks as well as borrowing privileges from the Harvard Divinity School Library. During the final two days of the seminar, participants will share their research projects (with the understanding that these projects may still be at relatively early stages of completion). We anticipate a reunion meeting during the summer of 2012 when seminar participants would meet to present their completed research projects.
Up to eight seminar members will be selected. Each will receive a $1,000 stipend for participation in the seminar in addition to $400 to defray costs while in Cambridge. Lodging will be provided by the Academy. Travel costs of participants are to be covered by participants’ home institutions.
Seminar Leader: Ronald F. Thiemann, Benjamin Bussey Professor of Theology, Harvard Divinity School and Faculty Associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.
Coordinator: George Connell, Professor of Philosophy, Concordia College.
Applications are due March 1, 2011. Seminar participants will be selected by March 15, 2011. Applications should include: a letter of application, a current c.v., a one-page description of the applicant’s scholarly project, and a letter of endorsement from the applicant’s dean. Institutions not currently members of the Academy will be responsible for a $1000 subsidy for seminar expenses. Please send applications to George Connell, Director, Lutheran Academy of Scholars, Concordia College, 901 8th St. So., Moorhead, MN 56562. Please direct any questions to George Connell at email@example.com.