Religion in the University

Cover of the book titled "Religion in the University."

Nicholas Wolterstorff, the Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology

(Yale University Press)

In this book, Nicholas Wolterstorff asks: What is religion’s place within the academy today? Are the perspectives of religious believers acceptable in an academic setting? Wolterstorff draws upon a range of authors — from Max Weber and John Locke to Ludwig Wittgenstein and Charles Taylor — to argue that religious orientations and voices do have a home in the modern university, and he offers a sketch of what that home should be like.

He documents the changes that have occurred within the academy over the past five decades with regard to how knowledge is understood. During the same period, profound philosophical advancements have also been made in our understanding of religious belief. These shifting ideals, taken together, have created an environment that is more pluralistic than secular, Wolterstorff contends. Tapping into larger debates on freedom of expression and intellectual diversity, he believes a scholarly ethic should guard us against becoming, in Weber’s words, “specialists without spirit and sensualists without heart.”

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