THE DECLINE OF THE SECULAR UNIVERSITY

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The Decline Of The Secular University

Author : C. John Sommerville
ISBN : 0195306953
Genre : Education
File Size : 54.86 MB
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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.
Category: Education

Religious Ideas For Secular Universities

Author : C. John Sommerville
ISBN : 9780802864420
Genre : Education
File Size : 90.40 MB
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During the last century American students and scholars have found it increasingly difficult to discuss the relation of religion to the mission of self-consciously secular colleges and universities. Respected scholar C. John Sommerville here offers thought-provoking reflections on this subject in a conversational style. / Sommerville explores the crisis of the secular university, argues that religion and secular universities need each other, and examines how Christianity shows up on both sides of our culture wars. The astute reflections in Religious Ideas for Secular Universities point the way to a dialogue that would do justice both to religious insights and to truly neutral secular education.
Category: Education

The Secular Northwest

Author : Tina Block
ISBN : 9780774831314
Genre : Religion
File Size : 69.41 MB
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The image of a rough frontier – where working men were tempted away from church on Sundays by more profane concerns – was perpetuated by postwar religious leaders troubled by the decline in church involvement. Tina Block debunks the myth of a godless frontier, revealing a Pacific Northwest that rejected organized religion – but not necessarily God. Not just working men but also women, families, and middle-class communities helped to shape the region’s secular identity. Drawing on oral histories, census data, newspapers, and archival sources, Block launches this exploration of Northwest secularity and the independent spirit of those who chose to live irreligiously.
Category: Religion

The Moral Collapse Of The University

Author : Bruce W. Wilshire
ISBN : 0791401960
Genre : Education
File Size : 49.92 MB
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Wilshire (philosophy, Rutgers) looks behind the shift of focus from teaching to research in universities, and sees a tight-knit fraternity bound by archaic initiation, purification, and exclusionary practices. He recommends some changes. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Category: Education

The Secular Landscape

Author : Kevin McCaffree
ISBN : 9783319502625
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 22.59 MB
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This book proposes a comprehensive theory of the loss of religion in human societies, with a specific and substantive focus on the contemporary United States. Kevin McCaffree draws on a range of disciplines including sociology, psychology, anthropology, and history to explore topics such as the origin of religion, the role of religion in recent American history, the loss of religion, and how Americans are dealing with this loss. The book is not only richly theoretical but also empirical. Hundreds of scientific studies are cited, and new statistical analyses enhance its core arguments. What emerges is an integrative and illuminating theory of secularization.
Category: Social Science

Secular Beats Spiritual

Author : STEVE. BRUCE
ISBN : 9780198805687
Genre : Religion
File Size : 36.8 MB
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The decline of the Christian churches in the West is undeniable but commentators differ in their understanding of what this represents. For some it shows a decline in interest in religion as such; for others, religion has not declined, it has only changed its shape. Possible candidates for Christianity's replacement are the new religious movements of the late 1960s and what is variously called New Age, alternative or contemporary spirituality. Secular Beats Spiritual offers a detailed study of the religious and spiritual innovations of the last 50 years. It assesses their popularity in the UK and concludes that the "not decline-just change" view cannot be sustained. Serious interest in spirituality has grown far less quickly than has the number of us who have no religious or spiritual interest. The most popular and enduring movements have been the least religious ones and those that have survived have done so by becoming more "this-worldly" and less patently religious or spiritual. Yoga is popular but as a secular exercise program; Transcendental Meditation now markets its meditational technique as a purely secular therapy; British Buddhists now offer the secular Mindfulness; and the Findhorn Foundation (Europe's oldest New Age center) is no longer the germ of a counter-cultural communalism but sells its expertise to major corporations. Steve Bruce also demonstrates that, although eastern religious themes (such as reincarnation and karma) have become more popular as the power of the Christian churches to stigmatize them has declined, such themes have also been significantly altered so that what superficially looks like the easternization of the West might better be described as the westernization of the easternization of the West.
Category: Religion

The Disenchantment Of Secular Discourse

Author : Steven Douglas Smith
ISBN : 0674050878
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 84.82 MB
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Prominent observers complain that public discourse in America is shallow and unedifying. This debased condition is often attributed to, among other things, the resurgence of religion in public life. Steven Smith argues that this diagnosis has the matter backwards: it is not primarily religion but rather the strictures of secular rationalism that have drained our modern discourse of force and authenticity. Thus, Rawlsian âeoepublic reasonâe filters appeals to religion or other âeoecomprehensive doctrinesâe out of public deliberation. But these restrictions have the effect of excluding our deepest normative commitments, virtually assuring that the discourse will be shallow. Furthermore, because we cannot defend our normative positions without resorting to convictions that secular discourse deems inadmissible, we are frequently forced to smuggle in those convictions under the guise of benign notions such as freedom or equality. Smith suggests that this sort of smuggling is pervasive in modern secular discourse. He shows this by considering a series of controversial, contemporary issues, including the Supreme Courtâe(tm)s assisted-suicide decisions, the âeoeharm principle,âe separation of church and state, and freedom of conscience. He concludes by suggesting that it is possible and desirable to free public discourse of the constraints associated with secularism and âeoepublic reason.âe
Category: Philosophy

The Secular City

Author : Harvey Cox
ISBN : 9781400848850
Genre : Religion
File Size : 56.76 MB
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Since its initial publication in 1965, The Secular City has been hailed as a classic for its nuanced exploration of the relationships among the rise of urban civilization, the decline of hierarchical, institutional religion, and the place of the secular within society. Now, half a century later, this international best seller remains as relevant as when it first appeared. The book's arguments--that secularity has a positive effect on institutions, that the city can be a space where people of all faiths fulfill their potential, and that God is present in both the secular and formal religious realms--still resonate with readers of all backgrounds. For this brand-new edition, Harvey Cox provides a substantial and updated introduction. He reflects on the book's initial stunning success in an age of political and religious upheaval and makes the case for its enduring relevance at a time when the debates that The Secular City helped ignite have caught fire once again.
Category: Religion

A Secular Age

Author : Charles TAYLOR
ISBN : 9780674044289
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 20.93 MB
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The place of religion in society has changed profoundly in the last few centuries, particularly in the West. In what will be a defining book for our time, Taylor takes up the question of what these changes mean, and what, precisely, happens when a society becomes one in which faith is only one human possibility among others.
Category: Philosophy

White Elephants On Campus

Author : Margaret M. Grubiak
ISBN : 0268029873
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 37.69 MB
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In White Elephants on Campus: The Decline of the University Chapel in America, 1920–1960, Margaret M. Grubiak persuasively argues, through a careful selection of case studies, that the evolution of the architecture of new churches and chapels built on campuses reveals the shifting and declining role of religion within the mission of the modern American university. According to Grubiak, during the first half of the twentieth century, university leaders tended to view architecture as a means of retaining religion within an increasingly scientific and secular university. Initially, the construction of large-scale chapels was meant to advertise religion's continued importance to the university mission. Lavish neo-Gothic chapels at historically Protestant schools, although counter to traditional Protestant imagery, were justified as an appeal to students' emotions. New cathedral-style libraries and classroom buildings also re-imagined a place for religion on campuses no longer tied to their founding religious denominations. Despite such attempts to reframe religion for the modern university, Grubiak shows that by the 1960s the architectural styles of new religious buildings had changed markedly. Postwar university chapels projected a less distinct image, with their small scale and intentionally nondenominational focus. By the mid-twentieth century, the prewar chapels had become "white elephants." They are beautiful, monumental buildings that nevertheless stand outside the central concerns of the modern American university. Religious campus architecture had lost its value in an era where religion no longer played a central role in the formation and education of the American student. "White Elephants on Campus is a provocative and engaging look at the university campus chapel in the twentieth century. The author skillfully combines social, educational, religious, and architectural history to illuminate a phenomenon neglected both by scholars and its intended users." —Peter W. Williams, emeritus, Miami University "In this important new book, Margaret Grubiak tells the fascinating story of how religion declined on twentieth-century American campuses and yet, at the same time, administrators persisted in building college chapels, including some of great size and striking architectural merit. This well-written and thoroughly researched account reveals much about American architecture but even more about the larger cultural retreat from Protestantism by the nation's intellectual elites. We have long needed such a study, and Grubiak has done a masterful job in presenting it." —W. Barksdale Maynard, Princeton University
Category: Architecture