Cross Currents

Articles from Vol. 56, No. 2, Summer

An Accidental Theologian: Thoughts on Islam in Public and Private Religious Universities
There are seven issues that I raise in this essay about the teaching of religion in general and Islam in particular in a university setting. They are: teaching Islam; the nature of the university; the normative type of Islam taught; representation;...
Attending to the Pain of the Dying: An Agenda for Science
In 1905, Columbia University built a magnificent brick and limestone palace of science, Schermerhorn Hall, for its new and expanding departments of geology, botany, and zoology. Carved on its facade is the inscription "Speak to the Earth and it will...
Companion to the Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI on "God Is Love"
Pope Benedict XVI's much anticipated first Encyclical has been welcomed as evidence of a more congenial personality, of a less severe figure than his tenure as supervising Cardinal of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had suggested....
Naipaul's Travelogues and the "Clash of Civilizations" Complex
With Naipaul, the controversial writer par excellence, one is neither neutral nor indifferent. The critical response to his travelogue pronouncements are characterized by a clear cultural cleavage: Anglo-American critics celebrate him as the uncompromising...
Religion and Beauty in the Classroom
This is a short report on teaching a course on late medieval and early renaissance art in Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, in the summer of 2004. The question I pose for the reader is: was I teaching 'theology' or 'religion' in this course? My purpose...
Religion and the University
Universities have become the milieu in which certain types of people live, yet these milieus shift from epoch to epoch, and culture to culture. Indeed, the same can be said for religion, as the term 'religion' can mean vastly different things in different...
Self and Text: Towards a Comparative Theology of the Self
Thinking about ourselves has always been one of the main preoccupations of human beings since the development of reflexive awareness and different cultural histories have come up with quite a wide variety of views about human identity although often...
Theology and the Intellectual Life
In 1997 the following reflections were published by a well known Harvard University professor: [T]he right to religious liberty is not best understood as a particular case of a more general right to individual autonomy. Assimilating religious...
Theology in the Curriculum of a Secular Religious Studies Department
The title comes at Jeff Stout's instigation: it would not have been mine. (1) Both title and paper betray a certain self-importance. When I arrived at the University of Virginia in 1993, culture wars--now a decade behind us (or again perhaps not)--divided...
What Does It Mean to Receive Tradition? Jewish Studies in Higher Education
Y'all might assume that a paper on the relationship between a college education and Jewish studies takes on a topic that is oh-so-very last millennium, and should thereby be deplored. Indeed, you'd have good reason to make this assumption. After all,...
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