First of all, if any of my theologically-trained readers have ever read Stanley Grenz or Merril Westphal, please comment with some thoughts on them.
Last week I attended some seminars for faculty to present the results of their "scholarly activities" in the past year. Each had received a grant and it was a way of showing how they'd spend the money.
A couple had written papers or presented papers at a scholarly conference in their field. While I didn't find their topics interesting (ballet, literary criticism, etc.) I enjoyed the passion that they had about their respective fields.
On Thursday, faculty were required to attend two lectures on postmodernism-- it was supposed to be a way for us to better understands the worldviews that our students are increasingly arriving on campus with. Instead, it turned out to be a deep history lesson and philosophical discussion between the theology and philosophy departments here, which greatly annoyed other faculty present.
The last speaker was going to eventually talk about Emerging vs. Emergent church paradigms but ran out of time (unfortunately...most folks here at SBU/Bolivar have no idea what that is about). But, I learned a lot about the history of postmodern theology and some of the good things they're thinking about.
I greatly enjoyed the passion the presenters had and the hard work they had put into their research. It made me miss the economics seminars I attended at Baylor, and some of the other research presentations that I enjoyed there. These are people who know a lot about their fields and have a voice in their fields. I want that same voice. I want to completely understand the economic journals that get sent to my office and be able to explain them to others with credibility. So, that's a goal I'm working toward.