Evangelical intelligentsia

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Evangelical intelligentsia is a sociological phrase that denotes the segment of evangelical thinkers in various occupational fields, such as academia, politics, and journalism, who have a significant impact on culture.

Ravi Zacharias, a leading figure in the Evangelical Intelligentsia Movement

Etymology and definition[edit]

The term is based on a research initiated by the sociologist Peter Berger conducted by Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs labeled The Emerging Evangelical Intelligentsia Research Project. It interviewed self-describing evangelical intellectuals who profess their faith in a self-assured and intellectual manner, presenting the class of evangelicals who would share in common engaging the public on matters of faith and reason, science and religion, religious belief and society besides representing a distinctively evangelical voice and being a leading thinker in their domain of profession.


Amongst them are scientists, university professors, politicians, policy-makers, diplomats, journalists, lawyers, artists and evangelists who typically consider themselves standing in the theological tradition of Jonathan Edwards, Abraham Kuyper, Carl F. H. Henry and Harold Ockenga, as well as in the intellectual inheritance of C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton and Francis Schaeffer. Cornerstones for the focus of attention on the question of "evangelicals and intelligence" were books like Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind and Robert Wuthnow's Restructuring of American Religion. Notable examples are Amos Jones, Michael Gerson, Michael W. McConnell, Francis Collins, Peter Feaver, Dinesh D'Souza, Christopher Seiple, John Lennox, Alvin Plantinga, Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, Timothy J. Keller and Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe). Initiatives such as the European Leadership Forum regularly brings together some of them in order to discuss relevant matters.

Their leading academical philosophical journal is the Philosophia Christi journal, supported by Biola University.

Another indication of the Evangelical intelligentsia include the Evangelical Theological Society, and their impressive list of presidents.


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