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March 21, 2003


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Rebekah MilesDALLAS (SMU) -- Rebekah L. Miles, associate professor of theology at Perkins School of Theology, is one of seven scholars nationwide named to be Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology for 2003-2004.

Miles, working in the area of Christianity and Contemporary Culture, will write on the topic of Good Kids, Good Society, Good God: Theological and Ethical Reflections on Raising Good Children. She will begin her sabbatical in January 2004.

Miles began her research proposal by quoting a passage from Proverbs, "Train up children in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it." (Prov 22:6). She then wrote, "It is easy enough to declare -- as have many U.S. educators, scholars, politicians, and parents --- that we want to train children in the way they should go. It is not so easy for these same people to agree about what particular way children should go, much less how we might train them to go in that way."

Her goal for her project is to write about raising moral children in a way that contributes to the theological and moral understanding of children, enriches the work of churches and religious communities with children in North America, and significantly advances the debate about raising moral children. At the most practical level, Miles hopes that her work will help parents, religious leaders, teachers and other community leaders do a better job raising moral children.

Miles has been a member of the SMU faculty since 1999. She received a B.A. from Hendrix College, an M.Div. from Iliff School of Theology, and a Ph.D. from The Divinity School at University of Chicago. Miles and her husband are the parents of two- and four-year-old daughters who, according to Miles "provide the immediate, personal impetus for this project on raising good kids."

Begun in 1993, the Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology program supports research that offers significant and innovative contributions to theological studies, meets high scholarly standards, enhances the theological understanding of people of faith, enriches the experience of church life in North America and develops ways for scholarship to inform contemporary culture. Fellowships are offered in one of six areas of inquiry: Bible and the Church, Constructive Theology, Christianity and Contemporary Culture, History of Christianity and the Church Today, Ministry and Practice of Communities of Faith, and Other (including inquiry into the relationship of theology and religions to the arts, and issues pertaining to religious pluralism in a multireligious society).

The Henry Luce Foundation, based in New York City, focuses on the interdisciplinary exploration of higher education, increasing understanding between Asia and the United States, the study of religion and theology, scholarship in American art, opportunities for women in science and engineering, and environmental and public policy programs.

The Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology program is offered in conjunction with the Association of Theological Schools, an organization of 244 graduate schools of theology in the United States and Canada.