Professor Larycia Hawkins recently found herself without a job after her relationship with Wheaton College was amicably terminated. The split was triggered by irreconcilable differences between the professor’s expressed beliefs and the school’s Christian doctrine.
Hawkins turned heads by wearing a hijab in “solidarity” with Muslims, and also by suggesting that Christians and Muslims worship the same god. Despite the displacement, it didn’t take long for Hawkins to get back on her feet. From The Christian Post:
[Hawkins] has been given a new position at The University of Virginia, where she will research race and religion.
“Professor Hawkins brings keen insights into the intersections of religion and race and will greatly enrich our scholarship in this area,” said James Davison Hunter, executive director and founder of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at UVA. “We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to welcome her here.”
Hawkins will join as the Abd el-Kader Visiting Faculty Fellow, named for a 19th-century Algerian Emir who fought for intercultural dialogue between faiths.
A statement from the Institute said that she will research the relationship between races and religion, and will also serve as a scholar on the Pluralism Project and on the Race, Faith, and Culture Project.
All things considered, the episode demonstrates how well religious liberty works when given the space to operate. Wheaton was under no moral obligation to maintain a relationship with a professor teaching ideas contrary to those of the institution. Hawkins will likely find greater fulfillment working at an institution that shares her ecumenical beliefs. No harm. No foul.