WHY A JOURNAL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES?

     The Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies offers a forum for dialogue across the disciplines, integrating knowledge, ethics and faith in search of solutions to panhuman dilemmas.  A peer-reviewed trilingual thematic annual, JIS seeks a reassessment of all the arts and sciences.  JIS explores the interfaces between facts and values, knowledge and faith, science and religion, while affirming the autonomy and methodological imperatives of diverse disciplines. The need for interdisciplinary approaches as a key to reinvigorating and integrating both teaching and learning is increasingly recognized in the academy, confirmed by such studies as Derek Bok, Our Underachieving Colleges (2006), and the National Academy of Sciences, Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research (2004). It is becoming increasingly clear that research is interdisciplinary.  Hence, higher education should also be more integrative, and thus fulfill the vision of liberal learning–what John Henry Newman called the idea of a university.

     JIS‘ quest, then, is for wholeness reminiscent of Aquinas’ Summa and Diderot’s Encyclopedie.  In sum, JIS‘ integrative approach provides a key to interdisciplinary curricula for the 21st century, fusing specialized knowledge with a Renaissance unity of learning.  Each JIS volume focuses on 1-2 interrelated themes, ideal as a starting point for interdisciplinary theme-oriented courses and seminars, and provides a splendid intellectual challenge for reading and discussion at the college and seminary levels as well as for all who seek new insights.  In brief, JIS encourages a renewal of genuine liberal arts education. Colleagues use JIS as a resource in course packs for college and seminary Honors Programs, Liberal Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS), Religious Ethics, Science-Theology Dialogue, Globalization and Human Rights, Civil Society and Democratization in Russia and Eastern Europe, et al.

Once upon a time, it was clear to all that every new discovery in science and all knowledge is a gift from God and clearly points to the Creator. But, following the Enlightenment and especially positivism in philosophy, the quest for knowledge became divorced from ethics and faith, resulting in reductionist thinking across the board, greatly impoverishing the social sciences and humanities. Curiously, at the dawn of the Third Millennium, the natural sciences are reaching the limits of their empirical methodologies, and increasingly raising metascientific questions concerning the origins, nature, and destiny of man and the cosmos–which clearly reach well beyond science=s ability to answer. Hence the fascinating and quite unexpected science-religion dialogue, which confirms the interconnectedness of all areas of knowledge–not only in the natural sciences, but social sciences and humanities, the arts and theology as well.

Therefore, the overall purpose of JIS is to help scholars, students, and the public integrate all areas of knowledge with ethics and faith, and thus develop a greater appreciation for the wonder, beauty, and unity of God’s Creation. The Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies is the official journal of the International Christian Studies Association, co-sponsored and published by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research. See also: JIS Support.