Membership as a Westar Fellow is open to:
Since 1985, more than 250 Fellows have participated in the Jesus Seminar and other Westar projects. At various stages of the projects, different Fellows have been involved in the research and deliberations.
Westar Fellows are critical scholars. Critical scholars make empirical evidence—evidence open to confirmation by independent, neutral observers—the controlling factor in historical and theological judgements, rather than putting dogmatic considerations first and insisting that the evidence confirm theological premises.
Westar Fellows who exemplify the ideals of a critical scholar may be inducted into the Order of David Friedrich Strauss or the Order of Baruch Spinoza. Strauss and Spinoza are regarded as two key pioneers in development of historical critical research in the study of religion.
Being a Westar scholar means belonging to an academic culture of collaboration, collegiality, and public outreach. Westar values collaborative work where scholars are not competitor set one against the other but hold a common mission. Collegiality is part of the Westar ethos where scholars assist and inspire each other in both common and individual projects. Communicating with the public is essential to all of Westar’s work that aims to promote religious literacy. The Westar experience is distinct from regular academic societies due to these features: collaboration, collegiality, and public accountability.
Opportunity to collaborate with a community of scholars on large-scale projects addressing specific questions and sharing the resulting scholarship with the general public.
Opportunity for public outreach:
The distinctive culture of Westar seminars depends upon Fellows taking active part in the conversation. Westar Fellows are expected to attend Westar meetings, participate in the discussion, and present contributions, as appropriate, to Westar’s scholarly projects.
To become a Westar Scholar, please submit the application below. Be sure to include a copy your CV and write a brief statement about your interest in becoming a Westar Scholar. Submissions will be reviewed. Upon approval, you will be invited to make your membership payment to join as a Westar scholar.
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