Why Christian Perspectives Are Not Welcomed

George M. Marsden

in The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship

Published in print June 1998 | ISBN: 9780195122909
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853311 | DOI:
Why Christian Perspectives Are Not Welcomed

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This chapter analyzes the reasons why Christian perspectives are not welcome in dominant academic culture. The historical reasons why mainstream college and university culture have not had much place for self-consciously Christian perspectives in fields like politics, history, sociology, psychology, economics, literature, and so forth have to do with fact that a broadly Christian ethos (the assumption, for instance, that there was a Creator who authorized moral law) was largely taken for granted up until about the end of 19th century. Then, in the 20th century an essentially secular ethos (no assumption, for instance, of a Creator or transcendent authorization of moral tradition) came to be just as typically taken for granted. In neither setting was there much encouragement for mainstream academics to reflect on what difference Christian outlooks would make in their various fields. Today there is no realistic prospect for the reestablishment of the dominance of Christianity in America's leading universities. Yet the biases against speaking about Christian perspectives persist. In effect, in place of a Protestant establishment we now have a virtual establishment of nonbelief.

Keywords: Christian faith; religious faith; academic culture; higher education; Protestant culture; secularism

Chapter.  4832 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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