Christians are siblings in Christ and followers of Christ: we are one in him. Yet, there are barriers that make gathering difficult. We encounter these barriers when we gather with Christians from different cultures or traditions. We encounter them when we gather with those whose personalities rub us the wrong way. These human barriers affect each of us at one time or another.
In her book, Interdisciplinary Conversations, Myra Strober reports the results of qualitative research in which she interviewed scholars who participated in six interdisciplinary conversations in three (presumably secular) research universities. While the common institutional barriers of funding, faculty rewards, and research evaluation were present, she found that the normally hidden human barriers were much more difficult to overcome. These barriers–disciplinary culture, disciplinary habits of thought, and interpersonal dynamics–had to be worked through by each group under the guidance of skilled leadership before fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue could occur. In most of the groups she studied, such leadership was lacking and fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue did not take place.
The updated model is below. Click the image for a larger version.
The presence of Christ as Head and the Spirit as Guide does not exempt Christian scholars from these human barriers. Accordingly, the model of interdisciplinary integration has been adjusted to reflect this temporal reality.