Magazine article The Christian Century

Letters

Magazine article The Christian Century

Letters

Article excerpt

Seminary and society

Seminaries and the ecology of faith," by Daniel Aleshire, and "Rest not in peace," by Ralph Wood (Feb. 3-10), are extraordinarily good illustrations of what is troubling about the state of Christianity in America. Both authors seem nostalgic for a past when Protestant and Catholic clergy more clearly dominated social and ethical thinking in America; they seem somewhat lost in understanding the dilemmas facing modern Christian leaders and their institutions.

Aleshire treads ever so lightly on the predominance of narrow scholarly pursuits by seminary faculties. In my mind there is no greater issue that must be addressed if theological education is to play a significant role in preparing young clergy for the practical realities of church ministry. Seminaries are intellectual enclaves that are increasingly divorced from the challenging task of bringing dynamic Christianity to a complex mix of American communities.

Of Ralph Wood I ask one question: What role do live, active, intellectually curious 18-to-22-year-old students play in his "concentric definitions of Christian scholarship that could perhaps help to rekindle the dying light of Christian schools"? …

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