By Holly Jay
Work on the second issue of Union’s recently established academic journal, “Renewing Minds,” is under way, with its release slated for late October or early November.
The theme of the second issue is the future, which could include topics such as the future of higher education, the future of the internet or the future of sex and marriage.
Dr. Hunter Baker, acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a senior editor for “Renewing Minds,” explained that as Union has become a strong voice among Christian colleges, the creation of this journal is an important step for the university.
“We feel a certain responsibility to contribute to the level of discourse in the public square, and this is a way for us to do that,” Baker said.
“Renewing Minds” had its genesis in the mind of Dr. David Dockery, university president, who also serves as publisher for the journal.
Its vision is unique among academic publishing ventures in its scope and audience, Baker said.
The title, “Renewing Minds,” is a reference to Romans 12:2. Baker phrased his understanding of the concept “cultivating the mind in the light of the Lordship of Jesus Christ” or “thinking Christianly.”
Thus, the journal will not be about one specific discipline or specialization but will engage a wide variety of topics from the Christian perspective.
“We had a vision to write for the educated layperson,” Baker said, stating that the audience for this journal is not a specific discipline of academia but anyone who likes to read and think about ideas.
Each issue is assigned a topic, and specific people are asked to write pieces relating to that theme from their unique perspective.
The theme for the first issue was Christian higher education. Articles from the first issue by Baker and by Dr. Scott Huelin, associate professor of English and director of the Honors Community, are available online in PDF format.
While many Union faculty and administration serve as editors or contributors, the journal includes submissions from other academics. In the future, “Renewing Minds” may publish writing from people outside the academy as well.
For Baker, this publishing venture is in line with previous work at Houston Baptist University and lines up with a personal desire to write for the educated public.
He had a hand in developing the publication of “The City,” a journal similar to “Renewing Minds” published by Houston Baptist.
It is a Christian intellectual journal seeking “a collection of thoughts deserving permanence in a fleeting age,” according to its website.
For more information on “The City” as well as for subscriptions, visit www.civitate.org.
The journal will begin with two issues per year and may expand in the future. Gifts have enabled it to be distributed for free thus far, but eventually subscribers will pay a fee, as with most academic journals.
Themes of other upcoming issues include religious liberty and conviction and civility. Subscriptions can be requested on the journal’s website, www.uu.edu/journals/renewingminds/.