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Scholar Loses Professorship Over His Book

July 12, 2019

Olivet Nazarene University rescinded a teaching job offer over complaints about the instructor’s novel, according to the Chicago Tribune. T. J. Martinson, the would-be assistant professor of English, said in a Facebook post and told the Tribune that Olivet Nazarene informed him late last month that it had received complaints that his recent book, The Reign of the Kingfisher, contained profanity and other details that conflict with the Christian university’s mission.

The university will reportedly pay Martinson for his yearlong contract, but he will not be allowed to teach. It said in a statement that it "decided not to proceed with the appointment of T. J. Martinson as an assistant professor, which was scheduled to begin this fall. We wish him the best in his future endeavors." Martinson’s book includes a lesbian character and discussions of prostitution. He says he was also told by Olivet Nazarene that concerns had been raised about a character who decides to hope instead of pray. Martinson said he submitted a statement of faith that outlined his support for LGBTQ rights in his application and that a copy of his book was in the campus president’s office when he interviewed.


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