The Decline of the Secular University

Author: C. John Sommerville
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199774845
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Religious Ideas for Secular Universities

Author: C. John Sommerville
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 0802864422
Format: PDF
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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.

Ein s kulares Zeitalter

Author: Charles Taylor
Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag
ISBN: 3518740407
Format: PDF, ePub
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Was heißt es, daß wir heute in einem säkularen Zeitalter leben? Was ist geschehen zwischen 1500 – als Gott noch seinen festen Platz im naturwissenschaftlichen Kosmos, im gesellschaftlichen Gefüge und im Alltag der Menschen hatte – und heute, da der Glaube an Gott, jedenfalls in der westlichen Welt, nur noch eine Option unter vielen ist? Um diesen Wandel zu bestimmen und in seinen Folgen für die gegenwärtige Gesellschaft auszuloten, muß die große Geschichte der Säkularisierung in der nordatlantischen Welt von der frühen Neuzeit bis in die Gegenwart erzählt werden – ein herkulisches Unterfangen, dem sich der kanadische Philosoph Charles Taylor in seinem mit Spannung erwarteten neuen Buch stellt. Mit einem Fokus auf dem »lateinischen Christentum«, dem vorherrschenden Glauben in Europa, rekonstruiert er in geradezu verschwenderischem Detail die entscheidenden Entwicklungslinien in den Naturwissenschaften, der Philosophie, der Staats- und Rechtstheorie und in den Künsten. Dem berühmten Diktum von der wissenschaftlich-technischen »Entzauberung der Welt« und anderen eingeschliffenen Säkularisierungstheorien setzt er die These entgegen, daß es die Religion selbst war, die das Säkulare hervorgebracht hat, und entfaltet eine komplexe Mentalitätsgeschichte des modernen Subjekts, das heute im Niemandsland zwischen Glauben und Atheismus gefangen ist.

No Longer Invisible

Author: Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199977135
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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.

The State of the University

Author: Stanley Hauerwas
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1405181435
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Secular Beats Spiritual

Author: STEVE. BRUCE
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198805683
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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.

White Elephants on Campus

Author: Margaret M. Grubiak
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780268029876
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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

Religion in Secular Society

Author: Bryan R. Wilson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198788371
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Fifty years after its publication, Bryan Wilson's Religion in Secular Society (1966) remains a seminal work. It is one of the clearest articulations of the secularization thesis: the claim that modernizations brings with it fundamental changes in the nature and status of religion. For Wilson, secularization refers to the fact that religion has lost influence at the societal, the institutional, and the individual level. Individual secularization is about the loss of authority of the Churches to define what people should believe, practise and accept as moral principles guiding their lives. In other words, individual piety may still persist, however, if it develops independently of religious authorities, then it is an indication of individual secularization. Wilson stresses that the consequences of the process of societalization in modern societies and on this basis he formulated his thesis that secularization is linked to the decline of community and is a concomitant of societalization. Revised and updated, Steve Bruce builds on Wilson's work by noting the changes in religious culture of the UK and US, in an appendix on major changes since the 1960s. Bruce also provides a critical response to the core ideas of Religion in Secular Society.

After Secular Law

Author: Winnifred Fallers Sullivan
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804780706
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Many today place great hope in law as a vehicle for the transformation of society and accept that law is autonomous, universal, and above all, secular. Yet recent scholarship has called into question the simplistic narrative of a separation between law and religion and blurred the boundaries between these two categories, enabling new accounts of their relation that do not necessarily either collapse them together or return law to a religious foundation. This work gives special attention to the secularism of law, exploring how law became secular, the phenomenology of the legal secular, and the challenges that lingering religious formations and other aspects of globalization pose for modern law's self-understanding. Bringing together scholars with a variety of perspectives and orientations, it provides a deeper understanding of the interconnections between law and religion and the unexpected histories and anthropologies of legal secularism in a globalizing modernity.

On Suicide Bombing

Author: Talal Asad
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231511973
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Like many people in America and around the world, Talal Asad experienced the events of September 11, 2001, largely through the media and the emotional response of others. For many non-Muslims, "the suicide bomber" quickly became the icon of "an Islamic culture of death" a conceptual leap that struck Asad as problematic. Is there a "religiously-motivated terrorism?" If so, how does it differ from other cruelties? What makes its motivation "religious"? Where does it stand in relation to other forms of collective violence? Drawing on his extensive scholarship in the study of secular and religious traditions as well as his understanding of social, political, and anthropological theory and research, Asad questions Western assumptions regarding death and killing. He scrutinizes the idea of a "clash of civilizations," the claim that "Islamic jihadism" is the essence of modern terror, and the arguments put forward by liberals to justify war in our time. He critically engages with a range of explanations of suicide terrorism, exploring many writers' preoccupation with the motives of perpetrators. In conclusion, Asad examines our emotional response to suicide (including suicide terrorism) and the horror it invokes. On Suicide Bombing is an original and provocative analysis critiquing the work of intellectuals from both the left and the right. Though fighting evil is an old concept, it has found new and disturbing expressions in our contemporary "war on terror." For Asad, it is critical that we remain aware of the forces shaping the discourse surrounding this mode of violence, and by questioning our assumptions about morally good and morally evil ways of killing, he illuminates the fragile contradictions that are a part of our modern subjectivity.