At This Time and in This Place: Vocation and Higher Education

ISBN : 9780190243920

David S. Cunningham
376 Pages
161 x 243 mm
Pub date
Oct 2015
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This book champions vocation and calling as key elements of undergraduate education. It offers a historical and theoretical account of vocational reflection and discernment, as well as suggesting how these endeavors can be implemented through specific educational practices. Against the backdrop of the current national conversation about the purposes of higher education, it argues that the undergraduate years can provide a certain amount of relatively unfettered time, and a "free and ordered space," in which students can consider the kinds of lives to which they are being called. The book is divided into four parts; the first of these explores the broader context within which vocational reflection takes place (attending both to the current state of higher education and to broader cultural trends). The second part examines the contours of vocation from historical, theological, and philosophical perspectives, with particular attention to narrative as a key factor in shaping (and accounting for) one's various callings. Part three considers the relationship between vocation and virtue, both of which encourage the cultivation of good habits with the goal of living a fulfilled and fulfilling life. The last part of the book explores vocational reflection beyond the classroom, suggesting that it can also be sustained through co-curricular activities, programs for community engagement, and attention to a campus's physical features. Concluding with an epilogue that summarizes that various pedagogies of vocation that are developed throughout the book, this book also suggests that vocation may itself serve as a kind of pedagogy by encouraging undergraduates to examine larger questions of meaning and purpose. At This Time and In This Place offers a compelling argument for vocational reflection and discernment in undergraduate education; as such, it represents a significant contribution to the emerging scholarly literature in this field.


Foreword - Richard H. Ekman, President, Council of Independent Colleges
Vocations of the Contributors
Introduction: Time and Place: Why Vocation is Crucial to Undergraduate Education Today - David S. Cunningham
Part One: Vocation in the Current Cultural Context
Chapter 1: Actually, You Can't Be Anything You Want (And it's a Good Thing, Too) - William T. Cavanaugh
Chapter 2: Finding the Center as Things Fly Apart: Vocation and the Common Good - Cynthia A. Wells
Chapter 3: Vocational Discernment: A Pedagogy of Humanization - Caryn D. Riswold
Part Two: The Contours of Vocation
Chapter 4: Places of Responsibility: Educating for Multiple Callings in Multiple Communities - Kathryn A. Kleinhans
Chapter 5: Stories of Call: From Dramatic Phenomena to Changed Lives - Charles Pinches
Chapter 6: "Who's There?": The Dramatic Role of the "Caller" in Vocational Discernment - David S. Cunningham
Chapter 7: Vocation and Story: Narrating Self and World - Douglas V. Henry
Part Three: Vocation and Virtue
Chapter 8: An Itinerary of Hope: Called to a Magnanimous Way of Life - Paul J. Wadell
Chapter 9: Seeing with All Three Eyes: The Virtue of Prudence and Undergraduate Education - Thomas Albert Howard
Chapter 10: Commitment and Community: The Virtue of Loyalty and Vocational Discernment - Hannah Schell
Part Four: Vocational Discernment Beyond the Classroom
Chapter 11: Rituals, Contests, and Images: Vocational Discernment Beyond the Classroom - Quincy D. Brown
Chapter 12: Sound and Space: Making Vocation Audible - Stephen H. Webb
Chapter 13: Self, World, and the Space Between: Community Engagement as Vocational Discernment - Darby Kathleen Ray
Epilogue: In Various Times and Sundry Places: Pedagogies of Vocation, Vocation as Pedagogy - David S. Cunningham

About the author: 

David S. Cunningham is Professor of Religion at Hope College, where he also serves as Director of the CrossRoads Project and of the Klooster Center for Excellence in Writing.

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