While reading this (.pdf) article, (The Gospel and the Happiness Paradox) I was intrigued by Ortberg’s mention of the Journal of Happiness Studies. Here is the website, and here is the most recent abstract (Volume 9, Number 3 / September, 2008).
I appreciate the connection here between the social “sciences” and Biblical Theology (and now have much reading to do on both). I have written before on the connection between the two, and the necessity of each to inform the other without usurping or chauvinistically imposing on one another. The article above is another example, from a respected pastor/teacher and psychologist, of how the two can work together for truth.
As I delved deeper into the parent organization, however, I found not only the journal, and the discipline of social sciences fascinating, I discovered Springer.com, a firm that manages knowledge. The “about” page reads this,
Partner for Research and Practice
Knowledge, information and quality – these are the three things that shape Springer Science+Business Media’s business activities. We develop, manage and disseminate knowledge – through books, journals and the Internet. We work with the world’s best academics and authors in long-standing loyal partnerships based on mutual trust and we are always open to new input.
We aim to offer excellence – more than 150 Nobel prize-winners have published with Springer to the present date. Many of our publications are considered authoritative works in their field, read by academics and students, used by libraries and universities, academic professionals and practitioners in various branches of industry
Their list of disciplines includes:
Architecture & Design, Astronomy, Biomedical Sciences, Business & Management, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Economics, Education, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Geography, Humanities ,Law, Life Sciences, Linguistics, Materials, Mathematics, Medicine, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Public Health, Social Sciences, and Statistics.
Their Mission Statement reads,
Our business is publishing. Throughout the world, we provide scientific and professional communities with superior specialist information – produced by authors and colleagues across cultures in a nurtured collegial atmosphere of which we are justifiably proud.
We foster communication among our customers – researchers, students and professionals – enabling them to work more efficiently, thereby advancing knowledge and learning. Our dynamic growth allows us to invest continually all over the world.
We think ahead, move fast and promote change: creative business models, inventive products, and mutually beneficial international partnerships have established us as a trusted supplier and pioneer in the information age.
What I appreciate most is the partnership between “Research and Practice.” That is, it is possible to become “so heavenly minded that you’re no earthy good,” as is said in ministry circles. And, it is possible to be so active and busy in application that there is little wisdom and informed effectiveness. As the days progress in my time here on earth, I pray that the balance between those two is never lost in my life. And as the challenges faced in the tension of time (where and how much to invest my minutes) becomes more difficult to manage, I pray that I never lose the will to grow in my knowledge and in my effectiveness in the world.
STEPPING IT UP
Using the staircase as an analogy, I consider the elevation planks to be the growing in wisdom and knowledge, and the flat planks where you put your feet to be your expression of that wisdom and knowledge in the world around you. If one were to live solely in the world of study and knowledge, then only walls are built in their lives. I have seen this in academic worlds, where the information and nuanced research is so great, there is little interaction with the practical world. If one were to live solely in praxis, we would never gain any sense of elevation for perspective, wisdom, and a better understanding of the world around us.
I hope that each step that I take in life does both continually and contiguously.