Religious Upsurge Brings Culture Clash to College Campuses

By Amanda Paulson writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, December 1, 2003 | Go to article overview

Religious Upsurge Brings Culture Clash to College Campuses


Amanda Paulson writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


It's a rainy Thursday night, a few days before finals, and Northwestern University's campus is deserted. But students can hear the raucous music emanating from one old stone building long before they step inside.

"Blessed be Your glorious name!" sings a throng of 100-plus students, led by amped-up guitarists, a drummer, and backup singers on stage.

It would take more than rain or exams to keep them away from these Thursday nights of singing, praising God, and sharing their relationships with Jesus.

Religion on campus - particularly evangelical groups like this one - is thriving these days, but it doesn't always find an easy home in the intellectual, secular world of higher education. For instance, Campus Crusade for Christ, which sponsors the Thursday gatherings, has butted heads with the administration here over a questionnaire on religious interest that the group gives to freshmen. Other schools are dropping the college chaplaincy, seeing it as an outdated tradition.

The notion of the university as developer of the whole person - the life of the spirit as well as the life of the mind - has faded since the days of mandatory chapel attendance. Even colleges with religious ties are often reluctant to step into the highly sensitive terrain of spirituality. But as students express more interest in questions of values and faith - and a frustration with how little those ideas are explored in the classroom - it's clear that college culture, at least for students, isn't quite as secular as some assume.

"Higher education is kind of founded on that maxim of 'Know thyself,' " says Jennifer Lindholm, director for a recent survey on spirituality at UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). "It's nice to see that students are so ... interested in these intangible aspects of themselves."

The survey she directed is the first step in a multi-year study of spirituality in higher education. And its findings are surprising. Of 3,700 college juniors surveyed, 77 percent say they pray, 71 percent consider religion personally helpful, and 73 percent say religious or spiritual beliefs have helped develop their identity.

Fewer - just 55 percent - said they were satisfied with how their college experience provided "opportunities for religious/spiritual development," and 62 percent say their professors never encourage discussions of spiritual issues.

The survey is more a snapshot than a measure of change, but those on campuses say the trend is noticeable. "The pendulum continues to swing up," says the Rev. Alison Boden at the University of Chicago. "It was a very different scene in 1991."

Part of the interest may be simple curiosity, particularly among students who weren't raised with a lot of religion. "They start experimenting with everything from hair, to what they're going to major in, to not wanting to be a CPA like Dad," explains Ms. Boden. Other students, she says, crave religion's structure and guidance - a desire that often leads them to more conservative practices. Those who grew up as Reform Jews, for instance, might try Orthodox Judaism.

And then there are the Christian evangelical groups, like Campus Crusade and InterVarsity, which emphasize conservative Christian values and a personal relationship with God and Jesus - and which seem to be flourishing just about everywhere. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Religious Upsurge Brings Culture Clash to College Campuses
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.