posted January 5, 1998

Jeff Tyler Named Towsley Scholar

 J. Jeffery Tyler of the Hope College religion faculty has been named the college's second  "Towsley Research Scholar."

          The award was announced during the college's
  annual Faculty Recognition luncheon, held on Monday, Jan. 5.
          The Towsley Research Scholars Program is funded
  through an endowment made possible through a grant from the
  Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation of Midland.  The
  foundation's previous awards to the college have included
  grants for the construction of the Van Wylen Library,
  faculty development in the pre-medical sciences and support
  for an endowed chair in communication.
          Through the Towsley Research Scholars Program,
  newer Hope faculty members receive support for a research
  project for four years.  An additional scholar will be
  appointed each year, up to a maximum of four at a time.  The
  first scholar, David K. Ryden of the college's political
  science faculty, was named in January of 1997.
          Tyler plans to use his award to examine how the
  practice of banishment and exile defined and shaped German
  society from the later Middle Ages through the Protestant
  Reformation.  He intends to study who German magistrates
  drove from their cities and rural communities, and how and
  why the punishment was enacted.
          Tyler also hopes that his research will address
  contemporary concerns as well.  "This continues to be a
  pressing issue in Germany today, in the aftermath of the
  Holocaust and continued Neonazism and hate crimes," he said.
          He did some preliminary work on the project during
  the summer of 1996, while completing another research effort
  in Germany through a first-year Faculty Summer Grant from
  the college.  The Towsley award will enable him to make
  additional visits to Germany so that he can examine court
  records and other relevant historical materials, in addition
  to supporting generally his effort to write a book based on
  the research.
          Tyler is an assistant professor of religion.  He
  joined the Hope faculty in 1995.
          He graduated from Hope College in 1982 with majors
  in religion and ancient civilization.  He earned a master of
  divinity from Western Theological Seminary in 1986, and a
  Ph.D. in history from the University of Arizona in 1995
  under the direction of Heiko A. Oberman.
          During his doctoral work, Tyler received a
  Fulbright Grant to study in Germany.  His scholarly work
  includes completing a book that examines the expulsion of
  bishops from their medieval cities--a study of the
  relationship between city and church in Augsburg and
  Constance in Germany from 1200 to 1600.
          He has developed new courses at Hope including an
  introductory-level examination of Christianity and conflict;
  an upper-level course titled "Monks, Mystics, and Magic in
  the Middle Ages"; and a senior seminar titled "Dying,
  Healing, and Thriving."  He has also taught courses
  examining the origins of Christianity, as well as the
  history of Christianity from the second century to the
  present day.