The Impact of Faith on Higher Education

This year Oxford University Press will publish No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education by Professors Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen and Douglas Jacobsen of Messiah College.  Please see the publisher’s abstract below.

Drawing on interviews with hundreds of university professors, co-curricular educators, administrators, and students from public and private colleges and universities across the United States, Douglas and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen demonstrate that religion is central to the work of higher education in the twenty-first century.

Religion Matters begins with an examination of the history of religion in American society and higher education, from Protestant establishment to secular dominance to the much more complex and pluralistic dynamics of the culture today. The authors define religion carefully, identifying three different modes of faith: historic religion, public religion, and personal religion. The second half of the volume explores six educational topics where religion intersects with the core goals and purposes of college/university education: religious literacy, interfaith etiquette, framing knowledge, civic engagement, convictions, and character and vocation. The authors pose key questions: What should an educated person know about the world’s religions? What does it mean to interact appropriately with members of other faiths? What assumptions and rationalities, secular or religious, shape the way we think? What values and practices, secular or religious, guide civic engagement? How do personal beliefs interact with the teaching and learning process? How might colleges and universities point students toward lives of purpose and meaning?

This volume shows that by paying careful and nuanced attention to the role of religion, educators can enhance intellectual life in any college or university.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: