Thursday, February 24, 2005

"let's talk religion"

the dean of religious studies at stanford university, scotty mclennan, has apparently written a report to the university faculty expressing his concerns that religion was not being adequately addressed in classrooms. one faculty member commented that he was “nervous about having religion influence what should go on in the classroom.”

there are many factors that contribute to this climate, as the dean should know. the feeling of some that all matters religious should stay out of the classrooms, that religious beliefs shouldn't be imposed on students, that they should preserve secularity in academic discourse are part of this.

a big factor is that, though there is a huge interest about religious matters and even a hunger for some kind of spirituality out there, some people are not well-versed about religous subjects, including about the christian tradition. one cannot talk about something meaningfully if one doesn't know much about it. perhaps one can wing it, but still, if all the people in the classroom including the prof don't know a whit about, say, the question of where evil came from, the discussion will lead no where. this question, as many other questions religious, rely on philosophy and theology.

plus there is confusion out there on some people's minds about what christians actually believe in. for instance a friend of mine told me about his experience going to an easter ecumenical service a couple of years ago at a major university here in the bay area. and one of the preacher's points according to my friend is that the whole event of the life of jesus did not happen. the whole thing...the whole shebang. so, sad to say, that some of the ministers and preachers out there contribute to this climate.

read about this story here.

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