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The Decline Of The Secular University

Author : C. John Sommerville
ISBN : 0199774846
Genre : Education
File Size : 78.78 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 : 78.9 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

Secular Beats Spiritual

ISBN : 9780198805687
Genre : Religion
File Size : 28.12 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

Religion The Secular And The Politics Of Sexual Difference

Author : Linell E. Cady
ISBN : 9780231162487
Genre : Religion
File Size : 33.53 MB
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Global struggles over women’s roles, rights, and dress have taken center stage in a drama that casts the secular and the religious in tense if not violent opposition. Advocates for equality speak of the issue in terms of rights and modern progress while reactionaries ground their authority in religious and scriptural appeals. Both sides presume women’s emancipation is tied to secularization. This volume upsets these certainties by blending diverse voices and traditions, both secular and religious, in studies historicizing, questioning, and testing the implicit links between secularism and expanded freedoms for women. Rather than treat secularism as the answer to conflicts over gender and sexuality, these essays show how it structures the conditions generating them.
Category: Religion

A Secular Age

Author : Charles TAYLOR
ISBN : 9780674044289
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 26.59 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

The Secular City

Author : Harvey Cox
ISBN : 9781400848850
Genre : Religion
File Size : 69.26 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

White Elephants On Campus

Author : Margaret M. Grubiak
ISBN : 0268029873
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 42.81 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

No Longer Invisible

Author : Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen
ISBN : 9780199977130
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 33.60 MB
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Winner of a 2013 American Educational Studies Association Critics' Choice Award Drawing on conversations with hundreds of professors, co-curricular educators, administrators, and students from institutions spanning the entire spectrum of American colleges and universities, the Jacobsens illustrate how religion is constructively intertwined with the work of higher education in the twenty-first century. No Longer Invisible documents how, after decades when religion was marginalized, colleges and universities are re-engaging matters of faith-an educational development that is both positive and necessary. Religion in contemporary American life is now incredibly complex, with religious pluralism on the rise and the categories of "religious" and "secular" often blending together in a dizzying array of lifestyles and beliefs. Using the categories of historic religion, public religion, and personal religion, No Longer Invisible offers a new framework for understanding this emerging religious terrain, a framework that can help colleges and universities-and the students who attend them-interact with religion more effectively. The stakes are high: Faced with escalating pressures to focus solely on job training, American higher education may find that paying more careful and nuanced attention to religion is a prerequisite for preserving American higher education's longstanding commitment to personal, social, and civic learning.
Category: Social Science

The Secular Conscience

Author : Austin Dacey
ISBN : 9781615920358
Genre : Religion
File Size : 67.29 MB
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Dacey passionately argues for a revitalized secular conscience as an ongoing, open-ended, fallible but serious and assertive conversation about morality.... With its discussions of the history, philosophy, theology, and science of how people think and talk about ethical truth, this book deserves to have significant impact upon the revitalization of the public sphere. Accessibly written, but with detailed scholarly and technical footnotes. Highly Recommended.-CHOICEIn a dazzling display of erudition, this book presents a cogent argument for secular liberalism....Dacey''s presentation is especially timely in view of the emphasis by some current presidential candidates on their religious identity....Dacey''s analysis helps to put this question into the larger perspective of liberty and conscience....This is a thoughtful, well-reasoned argument for progressive secularism.-PUBLISHERS WEEKLYAustin Dacey''s The Secular Conscience is sorely needed at a time when both the religious right and the religious left claim that there can be no public or private morality without religion. With wit and a philosopher''s insight, Dacey explains exactly why secular morality, grounded in an ethical approach that relies on reason rather than supernatural faith, must be restored to the public square.-SUSAN JACOBY, Author, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism and The Age of American UnreasonA beautiful primer on how our secular tradition can be rescued from self-defeat....This is an extraordinarily useful and lucid book.-SAM HARRIS, Author of the New York Times best sellers The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian NationFrom Washington to the Vatican to Tehran, religion is a public matter as never before, and secular values - individual autonomy, pluralism, separation of religion and state, and freedom of conscience - are attacked on all sides and defended by few. The godly claim a monopoly on the language of morality, while secular liberals stand accused of standing for nothing.Secular liberals did not lose their moral compass: they gave it away. For generations, too many have insisted that questions of conscience - religion, ethics, and values - are private matters that have no place in public debate. Ironically, this ideology hinders them from subjecting religion to due scrutiny when it encroaches on individual rights and from unabashedly advocating their own moral vision in politics for fear of imposing their beliefs on others.In his incisive new book, philosopher Austin Dacey calls for a bold rethinking of the nature of conscience and its role in public life. Inspired by an earlier liberal tradition that he traces to Spinoza and John Stuart Mill, Dacey urges liberals to lift their self-imposed gag order and defend a renewed secularism based on the objective moral value of conscience.Dacey compares conscience to the press in an open society: it is protected from coercion and control, not because it is private, but because it has a vital role in the public sphere. It is free, but not liberated from shared standards of truth and right. It must come before any and all faiths, for it is what tells us whether or not to believe. In this way, conscience supplies a shared vocabulary for meaningful dialogue in a diverse society, and an ethical lingua franca in which to address the world.Further Praise for The Secular Conscience:The Secular Conscience breathes new life into an old topic. Dacey thinks outside the box. His argument for allowing believers back into the ''public square'' - and then subjecting them to a forceful critique - is fresh and convincing, as is his surprising critique of the reasoning in Roe v Wade. And his chapters on secular ethics are superb.-PETER SINGER, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton UniversityWith intellectual vigor and moral confidence, Austin Dacey demonstrates the self-defeating fallacies of efforts to privatize individual conscience and belief. Secularists and non-theists should heed his call to join pu
Category: Religion

The State Of The University

Author : Stanley Hauerwas
ISBN : 9781405181433
Genre : Religion
File Size : 55.52 MB
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In this book, controversial and world-renowned theologian, Stanley Hauerwas, tackles the issue of theology being sidelined as a necessary discipline in the modern university. It is an attempt to reclaim the knowledge of God as just that – knowledge. Questions why theology is no longer considered a necessary subject in the modern university, and explores the role it should play in the development of our “knowledge” Considers how theology is often excluded from the knowledges of the modern university because these are constituted by an understanding of time necessary to make economic and state realities seem inevitable Argues that it is precisely this difference that makes Christian theology an essential resource for the university to achieve its task - that is, to form people who are able to imagine a different world through critical and disciplined reflection Challenges the domesticated character of much recent theology by suggesting how prayer and the love of the poor are essential practices that should shape the theological task Converses with figures as diverse as Luigi Giussani, David Burrell, Stanley Fish, Wendell Berry, Jeff Stout, Rowan Williams and Sheldon Wolin Published in the new and prestigious Illuminations series.
Category: Religion