Calvin University provost receives Aldersgate Prize

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In addition to being the provost of Calvin University, Noah Toly is a scholar of urban studies, politics and international relations and a nonresident senior fellow for global cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Courtesy Calvin University

Calvin University Provost Noah Toly was awarded the 2020 Aldersgate Prize for his book, ”The Gardeners’ Dirty Hands: Environmental Politics and Christian Ethics,” by John Wesley Honors College at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Toly will accept his Aldersgate Prize on Oct. 20 when he delivers an address about his book as part of the President’s Author Series at Indiana Wesleyan University. He was chosen for the prize after an Indiana Wesleyan University committee received more than 20 nominations.

The annual Aldersgate Prize is awarded to an author “whose scholarship challenges the reductionistic trends in academia by yielding a broadly integrative analysis of life’s complexities and by shedding fresh light on ultimate questions that can enrich Christian conceptions of human flourishing.”

“I can hardly imagine a more apt description of my aims in Christian scholarship,” Toly said. “The books honored by the prize over its first eight years have been excellent contributions written by distinguished scholars and published by outstanding presses. I’ve learned a lot from them, but I never expected one of my books to be among them, so I’m deeply honored by the selection committee’s choice.

“So much of modern environmental thought and global environmental governance is preoccupied with the need to give up, undermine, destroy or forgo one or more goods in order to possess or secure one or more other goods. Want clean water, clean air and a biodiverse, climate stable future? I do. But here’s the key: Along the way, we’ll have to give up some other non-trivial goods in order to get there.”

In addition to being the provost of Calvin University, Toly is a scholar of urban studies, politics and international relations and a nonresident senior fellow for global cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He also serves on the advisory council of Together Chicago and the steering committee of the Duke Divinity School Traditioned Innovation Initiative.

Toly previously taught on cities and urbanism at the Free University of Berlin’s Center for Global Politics. He served as a senior fellow at the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion and as an associate fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

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