ARTICLES

Lanta Davis Reighard - “This Confession Has Meant Nothing”: Confession in Bret Easton Ellis

Although Bret Easton Ellis has often been castigated by critics for his immoral characters, his
novels not only have a moral framework, but arguably a Christian one. The confessional tone
of his novels suggests that his characters are mere products of their surroundings, and that they
are desperately seeking an escape from the excesses and problems in contemporary society.
These characters do not confess to God, however, but to others like them. Their confessions
therefore fail, leaving them “soul sick,” with “no redemption” and no “exit,” reaffirming the
deep need for God to save us from the “inferno” we have created. Lanta Davis Reighard is
Assistant Professor of English at Northwest Christian University.

 

Dennis M. Sullivan and Tyler M. John - Human Embryo Metaphysics and the New Biotechnologies

Much of Christian scholarship has defended the Conception View of personhood, the idea
that human beings have intrinsic value that begins at conception. However, modern reproductive
technologies have led to new scientific insights into human embryology, without a
matching increase in our metaphysical and moral understandings. A rigorous formulation
of human nature and personhood is therefore needed. This paper explores and defends an
ancient yet still prominent framework for human identity called hylomorphism, updated
to match our current biological understandings and biotechnological innovations. In particular,
we apply this framework to the ethical analysis of several kinds of new research,
including a controversial intervention that treats mitochondrial diseases. We conclude with
reasons why this understanding is crucial to the most prominent Christian understanding
of human dignity. Dennis M. Sullivan is Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Director of
the Center for Bioethics at Cedarville University. Tyler M. John is a pre-doctoral student
and a Cedarville University alumnus.

 

Heather M. Whitney - James Clerk Maxwell: A Model for Twenty-first Century Physics in the Christian Liberal Arts

Physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) is considered by many to have been as important
to physics as Newton and Einstein, especially for his work on electricity and magnetism
and for being the first director of the Cavendish Laboratory. His technical achievements are
significant, but he also offers us a model of the qualities of physics education in a Christian
liberal arts environment. This work explores his writings and discusses some of his various
experiences, such as his broad education at the University of Edinburgh and participation
in elite intellectual discussion societies, which developed and demonstrated his ability to
think broadly. In some instances, he shared about his faith in God and how it informed his
perspectives. Furthermore, in the inaugural lectures he gave for the three professorships he
held over his lifetime, he shared his views on the role that the study of physics can play in
personal formation. This paper suggests that his personal and professional examples may be
critical qualities to be emulated in today’s Christian liberal arts physics programs, as higher
education undergoes significant transition. Heather M. Whitney is Assistant Professor of
Physics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL.

 

REVIEW ESSAY

Don W. King - A Circling Fellowship and an Empowering Imagination: C. S. Lewis and the Inklings—A Review Essay

Don W. King is Professor of English at Montreat College.