General Information

The Harold O. J. Brown Award for Student Scholarship is a paper competition for doctoral students engaged in interdisciplinary work at the intersection of theology (generally understood), philosophy, and science. In the spirit of Harold (“Joe”) Brown, the Brown Award encourages theological engagement on topics of pressing concern in the church, academy, and world. With the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation, the award will give special consideration to work produced on the doctrine of creation in light of modern scientific research.

The Brown Award is granted to the student paper that best exemplifies the values and vision of the Henry Center, joining the highest intellectual standards with a spirit of humility, openness, and collaboration, presenting fresh approaches to old problems for the advancement of life and thought. All students enrolled in an accredited PhD/ThD program are welcome to apply. The award recipient will receive a cash prize and guaranteed publication.

Quick Facts

  1. Papers Due May 1, 2019
  2. $2,500 First Prize & Publication in Trinity Journal
  3. $1,000 First Runner-up
  4. $500 Second Runner-up

Theme Topic

RECLAIMING THEOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY IN AN AGE OF SCIENCE

No topic within the doctrine of creation has been more unsettled by modern science than theological anthropology. Increased knowledge of the physical world has made traditional dualism more difficult to affirm—our minds do not appear to be quite as separable as previous ages believed. Is belief in the soul scientifically naïve? More recently, genetic research has raised new questions about our biological origins and whether belief in a historical Adam and Eve is warranted. But what exactly is at stake in affirming (or not) a “historical Adam”? What are we to make of original sin, for example, if one removes historical referentiality from the opening chapters of Genesis? Far from mere theological speculation or scientific investigation, thinking rightly about the origin, nature, and ultimate purposes of human being is foundational to all of life.

Kinds of Theological Questions

  • What are contemporary Christians to make of the biblical teaching that humans are created in the image of God? What—if anything—sets them apart from fellow creatures and renders homo sapiens distinct from other primates in an important theological sense?
  • How should Christians think about the human person (as body and “soul”) in light of both theological desiderata and the claims of science? What should Christians conclude about the nature of human personhood?
  • Was there a first set of humans, an historical Adam and Eve? Does biblical revelation and orthodox theology demand belief in such creatures (or is a “mythical” view of them consistent with Christian orthodoxy)? What does Genesis teach when properly understood?
  • What did Jesus and Paul think about these matters?
  • Exactly what is the consensus of the “state of the scientific studies” in evolutionary biology, primatology, and related fields? And—crucially—how are faithful Christians to relate the claims of the sciences to central theological affirmations?
  • What are evangelical Christians to think of the doctrine of original sin—especially in light of the claims commonly made by sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists? And in what ways are questions of historical ancestry tied to belief about sin?

Other Theme Years

2016-2017: Reading Genesis in an Age of Science

2017-2018: Affirming the Doctrine of Creation in an Age of Science

Quick Facts

  1. Papers Due May 1, 2019
  2. $2,500 First Prize & Publication in Trinity Journal
  3. $1,000 First Runner-up
  4. $500 Second Runner-up

Criteria of a Successful Paper

  • Congruence with the theme of the year
  • Sophisticated understanding of the nuances of the wider theological and socio-cultural context
  • Clear articulation of the significance of his or her argument in relation to the current academic and ecclesial conversations
  • Display of literary craftsmanship and creativity
  • Sound understanding of classic and contemporary Christian positions, especially in light of modern scientific discoveries
  • Engagement with wider, interdisciplinary scholarship in relation to the argument at hand
  • Competence in the handling of relevant evidence
  • Academic scholarship of a publishable quality

Quick Facts

  1. Papers Due May 1, 2019
  2. $2,500 First Prize & Publication in Trinity Journal
  3. $1,000 First Runner-up
  4. $500 Second Runner-up

 

Submission Guidelines

  • All students who are enrolled in an accredited PhD/ThD program are welcome to apply.
  • Papers should be of superior, publishable quality in content, organization, argument, format, and literary craftsmanship.
  • Papers must conform to Trinity Journal’s style guidelines.
  • No papers previously submitted to the competition, previously published, or papers concurrently submitted for publication elsewhere will be accepted.
  • Papers should be submitted with a title page, including name, title, abstract, and word count.
  • Up to two submissions per student will be considered for the competition.
  • Papers should not exceed 10,000 words. Papers exceeding this limit will not be accepted.
  • Students should submit their paper electronically in both MS Word and PDF formats.
  • All papers must be submitted no later than May 1, 2019. No late submissions will be accepted.
  • All papers will be assessed through a double-blind peer review process.
  • Publication of the first paper will take place in the Spring 2020 edition of the Trinity Journal.

Quick Facts

  1. Papers Due May 1, 2019
  2. $2,500 First Prize & Publication in Trinity Journal
  3. $1,000 First Runner-up
  4. $500 Second Runner-up

 

 

Style Guide

All submissions should be formatted in conformity with the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) and The SBL Handbook of Style for Biblical Studies and Related Disciplines, (2nd ed.).

  • Use footnotes, not endnotes or parenthetical references (except for scriptural citations, which can be parenthetical)
  • Place all bibliographical data in footnotes. Footnotes should not be indented and should be single spaced.
  • Do not use p. for page numbers. Simply list the numbers.
  • Subsequent references to the same work can use an abbreviated form of author, title, and page number. If a reference to the same work follows immediately in sequence, use Ibid.

Quick Facts

  1. Papers Due May 1, 2019
  2. $2,500 First Prize & Publication in Trinity Journal
  3. $1,000 First Runner-up
  4. $500 Second Runner-up

Contact Us

If you have any questions or feedback about the Harold Brown Award for Student Scholarship, or would simply like to talk with someone in person, please do not hesitate to contact us.

847-317-8066

[email protected]

Quick Facts

  1. Papers Due May 1, 2019
  2. $2,500 First Prize & Publication in Trinity Journal
  3. $1,000 First Runner-up
  4. $500 Second Runner-up

Important Dates

May 1, 2019
Papers Due

June 1, 2019
Award Recipients Announced

 

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This project is made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton Religion Trust.

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