Senior Josiah Hasbrouck is one of only four undergraduate students in the nation to earn the 2022–2023 Initiative on Faith & Public Life Young Scholar Award. The award is a $5,000 scholarship from the Young Scholar Awards Program of the American Enterprise Institute’s Initiative on Faith and Public Life. The program seeks to award scholarships to students who “demonstrate significant promise in their field of research,” specifically “issues of economics, public policy, and society from a perspective of Christian faith, theology, and ethics.”
This program supports select students who conduct a year-long academic research project with a university advisor. Josiah, who is a student in the University’s Honors Program, has been working on his honors thesis under the guidance of Greg Schaller, assistant professor at Cairn University and president of the John Jay Institute. His thesis explores the intersection of Christianity and politics and was well-suited for the scholarship parameters. More specifically, his topic is “The Applicability of Protestant Natural Law Theory in American Positive Law.” Josiah describes his research as such:
“Despite skepticism in the last century, Protestant thinkers throughout history have believed in natural law and considered it legitimate grounds for human law, as did the American Founders. My work is aimed at an audience of Protestants with questions about the relationship between moral law revealed in Scripture and nature, the relationship between moral and human law, and how these relationships are relevant in the United States, given the thought of the Founders. I am also writing on natural law to promote love of God and neighbor. Following God’s law is a key way we love him, and seeking the good of society through government is a key way we love our neighbors.”
Josiah will complete his thesis by the end of the academic year, when he will graduate from the politics program with minors in Bible and philosophy. Following graduation, Josiah will travel to Washington, D.C., to present and defend his paper. The final paper, as well as an op-ed summarizing the paper, will be published by American Enterprise Institute.