Religious Perspectives in College Teaching

Religious Perspectives in College Teaching

Religious Perspectives in College Teaching

Religious Perspectives in College Teaching

Excerpt

This volume completes an undertaking which originated in a letter written in 1947 by Professor George F. Thomas of Princeton University to The Edward W. Hazen Foundation. In it he urged the need for careful studies by natural scientists, social scientists, and humanistic scholars concerning the religious issues, implications, and responsibilities involved in the college teaching of their respective disciplines. At that time The Foundation, jointly with the Committee on Religion and Education of the American Council on Education, was conducting a survey of the quantity and quality of the religious facts and ideas provided by college textbooks in the principal academic fields. The results of this investigation were published in 1948 in a book entitled College Reading and Religion. Several contributors to the volume emphasized the fact that although much could be learned about the status of religion in the American college from an examination of textbooks, a more important factor was the attitude of the teacher toward religion and his willingness to express that attitude in the classroom.

As regards the problem of the teacher, what seemed to be required was not a statistical survey but the presentation of a body of constructive ideas by scholars whose opinions would command respect even when they aroused disagreement. The Hazen Foundation therefore decided to evolve a new project from Professor Thomas' suggestion and approved a grant for this purpose. In the spring of 1949 the following were appointed a committee to develop a plan and project: Bruce M. Bigelow of Brown University, Paul J. Braisted of The Hazen Foundation, Hoxie N. Fairchild of Hunter College, Albert G. Outlet . . .

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