Monthly Archives: November 2022

The Writer and the Cross with Darren Middleton PGE 80

A native of Nottingham, England, Dr. Darren J. N. Middleton received his Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Manchester, his Master of Philosophy in Modern Christian Doctrine from the University of Oxford, and his Ph.D. in Literature and Theology from the University of Glasgow.

After teaching five years at Rhodes College and a 24 year tenure at Texas Christian University, Dr. Middleton is now Professor of Literature and Theology at and Director of Baylor University’s Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC). He is here to share with us some of the range of his work, but especially to talk about his most recent book, The Writer and the Cross: Interviews with Authors of Christian Historical Fiction.

Darren is author or editor of a dozen books, and over 50 articles and book chapters, addressing such varied subjects as Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis, Japanese author Shusaku Endo, English novelist Graham Greene, and American writer Cormac McCarthy, along with studies of the Rastafari, an interest growing out of childhood friendship with Jamaican immigrants to his hometown.

Among Darren books are Theology After Reading: Christian Imagination and the Power of FictionNovel Theology: Nikos Kazantzakis’s Encounter with Whiteheadian Process TheismRastafari and the Arts: An Introduction, and Mother Tongue Theologies: Poets, Novelists, Non-Western Christianity.

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.

Christians in Social Work Academic Panel PGE 79

This episode is the second interview with and about Christians in social work. The last episode focused upon the practitioners perspective. This episode focuses on the academic perspective. I am honored to have as my guests for this conversation Dr. Tanya Smith Brice, Dr. Jon E. Singletary, and Dr. Laine Scales.

Tanya is Vice President of Education at the Council on Social Work Education. Previously, she served as the Dean of the College of Professional Studies at Bowie State University and the Dean of the School of (Education) Health and Human Services at Benedict College.
She has served on the faculties of the University of South Carolina, Abilene Christian University, and Baylor University. Her research centers on addressing issues of structural violence specifically as it relates to the impact of those structures on African American people. Her publications focus on the development of the social welfare system by African American women for African American children and documents structural barriers to African American families. She provides consultation to community organizations, religious institutions, and educational institutions on the impact of their policies on African American families. She has taught and lectured all over the USA, as well as in the countries of Ghana, Sweden, Uganda, Colombia and the Republic of Moldova.

Jon was appointed dean of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work in 2016 after having served as Associate Dean since 2011.  He has held the Diana R. Garland Endowed Chair in Child and Family Studies in the School since 2010 and first joined the faculty in 2003. Jon directed the Baylor Center for Family and Community Ministries.  In the Center, he helped lead $2 million of grant-related activities focused on studying congregational ministries that serve low-income communities.  His scholarship has focused on a range of Christian ministries, including family-based care for orphans and vulnerable children in Sub-Saharan Africa.  More recently, his research has focused on Christian contemplative practices and the Enneagram as a tool for spiritual formation.  Related to that research, Jon is the author of Leadership by the Number: Using the Enneagram to Strengthen Educational Leadership. Before coming to Baylor, he served as a Mennonite Pastor and a community organizer in Richmond, VA.

Laine is Professor and PhD Program Co-Director for the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. She completed 15 years as Associate Dean in Baylor’s Graduate School from 2004-2019. Her scholarly work led to her appointment as co-director of Baptist Scholars International Roundtable (BSIR). Laine is the author of Doing the Word: Southern Baptists’ Carver School of Church Social and its Predecessors, 1907-1997 (UT Press) and co-author/co-editor of several works, including the 6th Edition of Christianity and Social Work: Readings in the Integration of Christian Faith and Social Work Practice, and Christian Faith and University Life: Stewards of the Academy. Her research interests include doctoral education, history of Baptist women in social work and missions, and rural social work. Laine’s research on historical settlement houses led her to establish Good Neighbor Settlement House in Waco Texas, a social innovation experiment in nurturing community through an intergenerational experience of the arts, music, education, recreation, and worship.

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.