Paul L. Caron

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Restoring the Soul of the University: Unifying Christian Higher Education In A Fragmented Age

SoulPerry L. Glanzer (Baylor), Nathan F. Alleman (Baylor) & Todd C. Ream (Taylor), Restoring the Soul of the University: Unifying Christian Higher Education in a Fragmented Age (InterVarsity Press March 2017):

Has the American university gained the whole world but lost its soul?
In terms of money, prestige, power, and freedom, American universities appear to have gained the academic world. But at what cost? We live in the age of the fragmented multiversity that has no unifying soul or mission. The multiversity in a post-Christian culture is characterized instead by curricular division, the professionalization of the disciplines, the expansion of administration, the loss of community, and the idolization of athletics.

The situation is not hopeless. According to Perry L. Glanzer, Nathan F. Alleman, and Todd C. Ream, Christian universities can recover their soul — but to do so will require reimagining excellence in a time of exile, placing the liberating arts before the liberal arts, and focusing on the worship, love, and knowledge of God as central to the university.

Restoring the Soul of the University is a pioneering work that charts the history of the university and casts an inspiring vision for the future of higher education.

Inside Higher Ed, Restoring the Soul of the University:

Q: You write a lot about "multiversities" with "fragmented souls." How do you define those terms?

A: We take the terms from Clark Kerr’s The Uses of the University [Harvard University Press 5th ed. 2001] and define them in a somewhat similar fashion, but we also add some important elements.

Kerr understood the term “soul” as a university’s central animating principle. We believe the soul of the research university is not merely a central principle or purpose. It also includes its central identity and the story that connects that identity to a transcendent story of the universe. This identity and its story provide the source for the university’s ultimate moral ideals and various purposes, such as moral ideals about what it means to be a flourishing human being.

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an important challenge!

Posted by: mike livingston | Apr 2, 2017 9:29:16 PM