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Friday, May 25, 2007

Religion: Top universities promoting religion studies Why?

There are two ways you can look at this (Colgate University) or this (Harvard):

Either all these academics are “inta da sauce!!” ( ... say it ain’t so ... )

or

they recognize, based on evidence, that the human being has a spiritual dimension that cannot be suppressed.

How about this from Alan Finder’s May 2 2007 Times article:
Across the country, on secular campuses as varied as Colgate University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of California, Berkeley, chaplains, professors and administrators say students are drawn to religion and spirituality with more fervor than at any time they can remember.

Or
University officials explained the surge of interest in religion as partly a result of the rise of the religious right in politics, which they said has made questions of faith more talked about generally. In addition, they said, the attacks of Sept. 11 underscored for many the influence of religion on world affairs. And an influx of evangelical students at secular universities, along with an increasing number of international students, means students arrive with a broader array of religious experiences.

Aw, come on! We don’t need either the religious right or 9-11 to explain what has always been true about human beings. Yes, an experience like 9-11 might focus one’s attention, just as the recent East Asian tsunami did. But it is not the cause of the spiritual experiences. Disasters warn people to pay attention to spiritual experiences. They do not cause them.

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