Central College News

Central College Professor Terence Kleven Publishes Book

Featured: Central College Professor Terence Kleven Publishes Book

June 14, 2022

Terence Kleven, the Jacob and Gela Schnucker Sessler Endowed Chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Central College, published a new book “Faith and Reason in the Reformations.”

The book is a collection of essays presented at a conference on the topic of faith and reason, held on the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Protestant Reformation began on All Saints Day, Oct. 31, 1517, when Martin Luther posted 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The essays in this volume celebrate and evaluate this event in the history of the Church. The 2017 conference was organized by Kleven and by Mark Thomas, associate professor of philosophy.

The conference was supported by the Lilly Fellows Program and by Central. Five invited keynote speakers led the conference, and seven additional papers were presented by speakers following a call for papers. The 12 papers represent an ecumenical group of scholars and leaders in Christianity today. The intent of the conference was to bring together scholars, teachers, pastors and laity to reflect on the significance of the Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic Counter Reformation and the consequences of these movements for the unity of the Church, for international studies, for comparative religious studies and for education today.

“Participants came together for this conference to explore scientific reasoning and faith.

Our purpose was to try to build bridges where we could, while being true to our own differences. In contrast to many ecumenical endeavors, our aim was not to ‘water-down’ distinctives, but to recognize and understand them,” Kleven says.

“As a group, we were especially interested in the enduring consequences of understanding science today and the relation of science to Christian faith, especially as it pertains to education,” Kleven says.

Kleven has received more than two dozen international, national and regional awards, fellowships and grants. He has received two Fulbright grants. Currently, Kleven is in Amman, Jordan, conducting research in Arabic Political Philosophy at the University of Jordan. His first Fulbright was tenured at Louis Pouzet Centre for Classical and Medieval Studies at the Oriental Library of the University of Saint Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon.

Kleven has taught at Central since 1996. He has published articles and book reviews in Old Testament studies, Greek and Arabic political philosophy, Middle Eastern politics and Islamic studies. In 2001, he was awarded the Iowa Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He also has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for research tenured at the American Research Center in Cairo. He has conducted research at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. On two occasions, he led Central students on international education programs in Turkey.