Hendrix professor, Hays Scholars contribute to culture transformation in China

Summer Academy IIICONWAY, Ark. (Aug. 17, 2006) – Jay McDaniel, professor of religion at Hendrix College, traveled to China from July 16 to August 3 to teach the first annual Summer Academy on Process Thought, a course focused on Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy and its relevance to China.

According to McDaniel, “the course is to introduce ways of thinking…that can help Chinese culture evolve into a constructively post-modern society that builds upon the best of the modern West, but also reclaims its own rich heritage.”

Forty academics from different parts of China, including graduate students, professors, university deans and representatives from each of the 11 centers for Process studies in China, attended the 11-day academy. Participants represented the academic areas of education, philosophy, history, literature and medicine. The course was held at Guangxi Normal University in Guilin where McDaniel was awarded the honorary title of guest professor.

"My hope is that this designation will open up possibilities for Hendrix students and faculty to visit Guilin," McDaniel said. "It is one of the most beautiful sites in China."

Summer Academy IThree Hendrix students accompanied McDaniel in China. Hays Scholars Molly Housh of Tulsa, Okla., Jessica Kelley of Camden, and Ryan Norman of Fayetteville served as teaching assistants, helping prepare texts and syllabi for the course and assisting the Chinese students with their studies. They also participated in a panel discussion on “Life in America: The Next Generation.”

The Summer Academy was sponsored by the China Project, an independent program of the Center for Process Studies in Claremont, Calif. Its mission is to encourage the advancement of process philosophy among Chinese educators, scholars and students. The program supports various academic exchange programs, conference, seminars, book translations and research projects.

Hendrix, founded in 1876, is a selective, residential, undergraduate liberal arts college emphasizing experiential learning in a demanding yet supportive environment. The college is among 150 colleges featured in the 2007 edition of the Princeton Review “America’s Best Value Colleges.” Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884.  For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.

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Contact: Jamie Fotioo, 501/450-1381, fotioo@hendrix.edu