Seminarul de Cercetare Interdisciplinara a Religiilor si Ideologiilor

20 years of JSRI – with Michael S. Jones

Posted in Activități 2020,evenimente,JSRI de sciri pe martie 23, 2021
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This year we celebrate 20 years of continuous publication of our Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies. We have invited our collaborators to answer a few questions about the role our journal played in their professional careers. Today, we are very grateful to share with you the thoughts and answers of Michael S. Jones, who is currently a Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University.

Professor Michael S. Jones
Photo from Liberty University

What has JSRI meant for your professional and personal development over the past 20 years?
My involvement with JSRI has had a huge impact on my personal and professional development. While I was yet a student it offered to me both an outlet for my research and an opportunity to grow as a writer through collaborating in the editorial process. I got to know the faculty and students of Babes-Bolyai University during two years that I spent at UBB thanks to a Fulbright Grant. The years were 2000 to 2002. During this time JSRI was founded and I was invited to join the editorial staff. I have served in that capacity ever since, sometimes doing more and sometimes doing less, but always excited to see the new issues as they appear. In 2002 I moved back to America, but I’ve visited Cluj half a dozen times since then and I’ve always received a warm welcome from the great people at JSRI.

In 2002 JSRI published my article, In Defense of Reason in Religion (vol. 1  no. 1, spring 2002, pp. 123-34). Subsequently JSRI has published two additional articles that I authored or co-authored: Culture as Religion and Religion as Culture in the Philosophy of Lucian Blaga (vol. 5 no. 15, winter 2006, pp. 66-87) and “Christianity, Epistemic Peer Disagreement, and the Abortion Debate,” co-authored with John Molinari (vol. 17:49, Spring 2018, pp. 32-45). 

JSRI has also graciously published three of my book reviews, Religion in Eastern Europe (vol. 2 no. 6, winter 2003), Carl E. Braaten, No Other Gospel! Christianity among the World’s Religions (vol. 3 no. 9, Winter 2004, pp. 162-167), and Steven B. Cowan and James S. Spiegel, The Love of Wisdom: A Christian Introduction to Philosophy (vol. 10 no. 28, Spring 2011, pp. 199-2030). In 2008 I was surprised and greatly honored to receive the 4th bi-annual award for participation in the area of philosophy of religion. This is an honor that I do not deserve but for which I am very grateful. 

Professor Michael S. Jones during his first staying as a Fulbright scholar in Cluj, together with Prof. Vasile Boari. Archive of SCIRI.

What is the JSRI article that you most often recommend to your collaborators, and what motivates you to do so?
I think my most read contribution to JSRI is probably my review of Cowan and Spiegel’s book The Love of Wisdom: A Christian Introduction to Philosophy. My review was published very shortly after the book came on the market. The book has gone on to be a bit success and has been adopted for introductory philosophy courses at many colleges and universities. As a result, many people have read my little review. I do not actively recommend this piece to people, but they seem to be finding it on their own.

The article that I personally most recommend may be my article on Lucian Blaga. From time to time someone contacts me who is seeking information on Blaga. Since little is available on Blaga in English, it is very beneficial for me to have this article to recommend. It is very helpful that it is available free on the internet. 

If you have a personal memory related to the journal please share it with us.
I recall with fondness the occasion when an esteemed colleague of mine, Dr. Ken Cleaver, received an award from JSRI recognizing his work. He recorded a short video expressing his appreciation for JSRI that was played at a meeting of JSRI workers and supporters. Seeing this kind of collaboration between my friends in America and my friends in Romania gave me a very warm feeling. 

What do you convey to the journal’s readers on this anniversary? 
Please keep reading, thinking, dialoguing, researching, writing, and sending your scholarship to JSRI. The work that you do contributes to the growth of knowledge and understanding around the world. Your work is important, and you are having a global impact!

What advice would you give to a young author who wants to publish in this journal?
I would encourage any aspiring JSRI author that the effort needed to publish with JSRI is well worth it. JSRI is a respected, peer-reviewed journal, and having an article published in JSRI is an accomplishment of which you will be proud. I would also advise aspiring authors to read the submission requirements on the JSRI web page and follow them closely. Make sure that your article is conversant with the leading sources on your topic. Make sure that all of your sources are correctly cited. And if English isn’t your first language, it is a good idea to ask an English speaker to proofread your article for you. Preparing an article for publication in JSRI takes a lot of work, but it will definitely be worth it in the end.