Belmont Honors Program Instructor Laura Hohman and Jonathan Thorndike, Honors Director, recently presented at the “Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition” conference at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. The conference, supported by funding from the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, focused on the formative Christian theologian of the West, St. Augustine, and featured plenary speakers Peter Kaufman (University of Richmond) and Kristen Deede Johnson (Western Theological Seminary). The conference was hosted by Samford’s Core Texts and University Fellows Honors Program. Samford religion professor and conference co-chair Scott McGinnis said the series was designed to provide an opportunity for scholars from across the disciplines to share ideas about teaching Christianity’s rich intellectual heritage to today’s undergraduates. Hohman and Thorndike’s presentation was titled “Teaching Augustine in the Interdisciplinary Honors Core,” and they discussed the design of the Honors Core courses, Honors curricula and the use of primary texts such as St. Augustine’s Confessions to provide a bridge between the Classical Civilizations and Medieval World courses.
Laura Hohman is a doctoral candidate through the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is writing her dissertation on early medieval sermons and religious culture. Laura specializes in Ancient, Late Antique and Medieval history and teaches the Honors Classical Civilizations course as well as First Year Seminar. She has spent time in Europe, most recently doing manuscript work in Paris under a research grant through the Council for European Studies. Jonathan Thorndike is Honors Program Director and served on the National Council of Alpha Chi Honor Scholarship Society as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Southeast region. He is Belmont’s representative to the National Collegiate Honors Council and teaches interdisciplinary Honors Core courses including Classical Civilizations, The Age of Exploration, Discovery and Revolution and Topics in the 20th and 21st Centuries. He teaches a study abroad course in London on C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Inklings.