No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education

No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education

No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education

No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

This book is about religion and undergraduate education at America’s thousands of colleges and universities. Its main argument can be stated simply: Paying attention to religion—which we define broadly to include traditional religion, spirituality in its many different forms, and life’s big questions of meaning, purpose, character, hope, and ethics, whether or not they are formulated in religious language—has the potential to enhance student learning and to improve higher education as a whole. We also think that religion is educationally unavoidable. Religion is a part of the real world that demands objective analysis and critical study, and questions and concerns related to religion (defined broadly) appear in almost every academic field of study. There was a time, not very long ago, when religion was all but invisible in the educational programming of most colleges and universities. That time is past; religion is no longer invisible. This book provides a map of how colleges and universities across the country are re-engaging religion and how they can do that more intelligently and effectively. This is not a compendium of answers, but an invitation for educators to look more closely at a facet of life that is too big and important to ignore.

The two of us have been thinking and talking about religion in higher education for a long time. One of us studied psychology as an undergraduate and later went on for a doctorate in the social foundations of education from Temple University; the other earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy and then completed a doctorate in religious studies at the University of Chicago. Our first real disagreement—which took place long ago on a train from Belfast to Dublin in Ireland—was about which field of study, psychology or philosophy, had contributed more to the advancement of human understanding. We have now been married for thirty-five years, and we have been debating—and learning from each other—about matters of psychology, philosophy, religion, and education the entire time. We wrote our first joint essay on the topic of religion in higher education about twenty years ago, and ever since then we have been asking if and how religion can play a constructive role in advancing the work of higher education.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.