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
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