Stumbling Heavenward

Stumbling Heavenward : One Philosopher's Journey

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In this autobiography/memoir, Elmer Thiessen describes his journey from humble beginnings in a small Mennonite village in southern Saskatchewan to becoming a well-loved professor of philosophy, scholar and writer, and speaker at national and international conferences.

His story begins with adversities - being born with some handicaps and the loss of a father while still a teenager. These harsh and unfair blows result in a struggle with developing self-acceptance and overcoming loneliness, but are followed with the wonderful discovery of the love of God, the love of a wife, and the love of three delightful children.

The author's academic journey is also marked by struggles, first with self-doubt about his intellectual abilities, and then the confusion associated with switching from a study of physics to philosophy.

He reflects on his efforts to resolve the conflicts between science and religion. He also writes about the challenges of being a Christian philosopher, trying to blend the faith of Athens with the faith of Jerusalem, and his indebtedness to Reformed philosophy. Other questions dealt with: How does one combine personal piety with an analytical mind? And what does it mean to be a philosopher in a conservative church?

Memorable international experiences are described, including a one-year honeymoon in Germany while on an exchange scholarship, a one year sabbatical in Oxford with wife and family, and a semester of teaching at a newly founded Lithuanian Christian College shortly after Lithuania gained its independence.

The author describes his love of teaching and includes many stories of delightful exchanges with students. Then there are grimmer descriptions of the messy politics of Medicine Hat College where he spent most of his career. A concluding chapter reflects on lessons learned about life and love, caring and not caring, and searching for truth with humility.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 378 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20mm | 503g
  • English
  • 177719265X
  • 9781777192655