The New York Times Magazine ran an article in its October 13 edition entitled “The Professor Wore a Hijab in Solidarity – Then Lost Her Job”. It’s the story of Larycia Hawkins, the first female African-American tenured professor at Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian liberal arts college. Dr. Hawkins lost her job after a controversy that began with her intention to wear a hijab during the Advent season, in solidarity with Muslims.
You can read the article here. It’s an important story on many levels, not the least being race and gender. But my point in posting it here is that it’s a perfect example of the necessity of intrafaith discussions among Christians of differing theological perspectives.
Dr. Hawkins identifies as a Christian. Her Christianity allows her to make the statement she made by wearing the hijab. The administration and many alumni of Wheaton College have a different interpretation of Christianity. Many students and faculty members were understandably upset with Dr. Hawkins’ “mutual place of resolution and reconciliation” departure.
Rather than dismissing this popular, well-qualified educator, would it not have been wiser to use the controversy as an opportunity for an intrafaith conversation?