John and Dr. Greg Powell, former Director of Undergraduate Research

John and Dr. Greg Powell, former Director of Undergraduate Research

Name: John Kern

Major: Biblical Studies

Classification: Senior

Hometown: Somerset, PA

Mentor: Dr. Fred Acquino, Graduate School of Theology

What I Study: This summer I researched a constructive connection between the way people trust authorities and experts for beliefs in the epistemology of testimony and the way a novice trusts a spiritual director in Gregory the Great’s writings. Although my research was mostly a historical theological investigation, I utilized the epistemology literature to help articulate how a novice attains epistemic goods that are spiritual such as spiritual insight by placing himself under a spiritual authority who has already attained such goods.

Why I do research: I research because I have a desire and passion for understanding how ideas fit together. In particular, I am not alright with separating my theological views from the other understandings that are relevant in society. If science says one thing that is important for understanding reality, I want to know how that is going to change the way one approaches issues in theological anthropology and creation theology. I especially want to see how philosophy and theology are related and how they help to explain or articulate each other in more nuanced ways.

Honors and Conferences: John was a finalist for the 2012 ACU Undergraduate Researcher of the Year. John presented at a conference in Chicago Fall 2012 and at the 2013 ACU Undergraduate Research Festival.