The Decline of the Secular University: Why the Academy Needs Religion / Edition 1

The Decline of the Secular University: Why the Academy Needs Religion / Edition 1

by C. John Sommerville
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195306953

ISBN-13: 9780195306958

Pub. Date: 07/07/2006

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA


The American university has embraced a thorough secularism that makes it increasingly marginal in a society that is characterized by high levels of religious belief. The very secularization that was supposed to be a liberating influence has resulted in the university's failure to provide leadership in political, cultural, social, and even scientific arenas.

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Overview


The American university has embraced a thorough secularism that makes it increasingly marginal in a society that is characterized by high levels of religious belief. The very secularization that was supposed to be a liberating influence has resulted in the university's failure to provide leadership in political, cultural, social, and even scientific arenas.

In The Decline of the Secular University, C. John Sommerville explores several different ways in which the secular university fails in its mission through its trivialization of religion. He notes how little attention is being given to defining the human, so crucial in all aspects of professional education. He alerts us to problems associated with the prevailing secular distinction between "facts" and "values." He reviews how the elimination of religion hampers the university from understanding our post-Cold War world. Sommerville then shows how a greater awareness of the intellectual resources of religion might stimulate more forthright attention to important matters like our loss of a sense of history, how to problematize secularism, the issue of judging religions, the oddity of academic moralizing, and the strangeness of science at the frontiers.

Finally, he invites the reader to imagine a university where religion is not ruled out but rather welcomed as a legitimate voice among others. Sommerville's bracing and provocative arguments are sure to provoke controversy and stimulate discussion both inside and outside the academy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195306958
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/07/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1The marginalization of our universities3
2Trouble defining the human23
3Trouble maintaining the fact/value dichotomy39
4Trouble eliminating religion47
5Trouble judging religions61
6Science gets strange75
7Teaching about secularism, or teaching secularism?85
8Losing a sense of history97
9Moralizing as a bad habit111
10How religious scholars could contribute121
11Postsecularism and the university135
12A vision of the future143

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