RELIGION, SCHOLARSHIP, AND HIGHER EDUCATION: Perspectives, Models, and Future Prospects

Andrea Sterk, Editor . Univ. of Notre Dame Press $30 (280p) ISBN 978-0-268-04053-6 ISBN 0-268-04054-0

Underneath its dry, scholarly title, this collection of essays is a lively read not only for scholars, institutional administrators and foundation officers, but for anyone interested in the evolving role of religion in American intellectual life over the last half century. The product of a three-year Lilly Foundation Seminar on Religion and Higher Education, this well-edited book is comprised of short, thought-provoking pieces from some of the country's leading lights in the humanities and social sciences. Divided into parts, the book addresses foundational issues, the theme of religion and scholarship, and teaching. Philosopher of religion Nicholas Wolterstorff opens the first essay with a question: What has moved the topic of religion and scholarship "from small pockets of inquiry out into the open public arena"? Postmodernism's interest in the "perspectival" has brought new prominence to old questions of religious thinkers and institutions. How do religious colleges retain and renew their identity in face of increasingly diverse student bodies and new opportunities for government funding, particularly in the natural sciences? Authors offer creative, religiously grounded possibilities for their disciplines: for example, a sacramental political theory and a vision of contemporary literary theory as a revival of Augustine's insights on language and finitude. In first-person reflections, this collection offers a vivid and informative account of religion and scholarship over the last few decades and poses constructive questions for its future. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/17/2001
Release date: 03/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
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