While a public intellectual may get by by sounding off with rhetorical flourishes, a public scholar is rooted in a context of study, and he or she studies before commenting. John Stackhouse stresses scholarship, based on research, interactions with libraries, the contribution of colleagues, and the like. I hope that wherever he takes us, he will keep me on his various address lists, in the company of other public scholars.
Martin E. Marty, The University of Chicago
Born in Canada, and raised in southwestern England and northern Ontario, John Stackhouse was educated in history and religious studies at three of North America’s leading institutions: Queen’s University in Ontario (B.A., First Class Honours), Wheaton College Graduate School in Illinois (M.A., with Highest Honors), and The University of Chicago (Ph.D.).
Formerly a professor of European history at Northwestern College in Iowa and a professor of religion at the University of Manitoba, currently John holds the Sangwoo Youtong Chee Chair of Theology and Culture at Regent College, an international graduate school of Christian studies at one of Canada’s premier universities, the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. He has served also as Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at McGill University and UBC, responsible for supervising Ph.D. students.
John is the author of seven books, the editor of four more, and the author of over five hundred articles, book chapters, and reviews in academic publications, major newspapers, and magazines. His writings range over history, sociology, philosophy, theology, ethics, and comparative religion. He has spoken throughout North America, in the United Kingdom, and in China, India, Israel, Korea, and Malaysia. His commentary on religion and contemporary culture has been sought by major broadcast and print media as diverse as The New York Times, The Atlantic, ABC News, CBC Radio, Time, and Reader’s Digest.
Married for more than thirty years and the father of three sons, John enjoys skiing and hiking the Vancouver-area mountains with his family and hitting the road on the motorcycle he inherited from his father. He is also a jazz musician, and gives the occasional performance on piano, guitar, trumpet, or electric bass. (His instruments include a Grotrian piano, Martin D-35 flat-top guitar, Godin electric guitar, Olds Super trumpet, and Fender 5-string electric bass.)
More information can be found in Canadian Who’s Who (University of Toronto Press), the Directory of American Scholars, and Contemporary Authors.
John speaks and writes with an appealing authority and teasing wit, which point to his broad
and careful study, his love of excellence and truth, and his genuine fondness for those under his tutelage.
Steve Bell, Two-Time Juno Award-Winning Singer & Songwriter
Thoughtful questioners: those are my people. I don’t care if they share all of my views, most of them, or hardly any at all. If people are asking serious questions in a serious way on subjects I know something about, I want to be there. I want to learn from them and, if they’ll invite me, I’ll gladly pass along whatever I’ve learned.
I make connections. I’ve done some original scholarly investigation and some innovative theorizing as well, and that front-line academic work gives me a charge like nothing else. But I’ve devoted most of my career to drawing together both information and patterns from several disciplines—cultural, intellectual, and ecclesiastical history; sociology of religion; comparative religious studies; philosophy of knowledge and philosophy of religion; and historical and constructive theology—to tackle big, generic problems that trouble me and the people closest to me.
So I’ve worked on a pretty wide range of subjects: the pitfalls and prospects of multiculturalism; effective and ineffective modes of leadership; the role of money in the lives of organizations and individuals; the challenge of discussing religion in a responsible and neighbourly way in a diverse society; bad and good views of gender; the problem of God and evil; and more. In each case, the ‘descriptive’ side of my training helps me get the issues into focus, so that the ‘prescriptive’ side of my mind can articulate something that is, I trust, truly relevant and helpful.
Some people in my audiences are surprised, even dismayed, when I make clear that I don’t have all the answers. But when I’m doing well what I do best, I help people see the issues better and ask better questions about them. And, yes, I usually am able to suggest some avenues along which good answers and better practices can be found.
If I can help you with some of your vital concerns, let’s connect.