Academic Freedom & Christian Scholarship
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Many Christian colleges and universities are searching today for a meaningful identity. Part of this search revolves around the misunderstood, often maligned, topic of academic freedom. This new book by a widely respected figure in Christian education offers the most articulate and informed discussion of academic freedom available.^Anthony Diekema, former president of Calvin College, provides a practical perspective on academic freedom and the role of Christian scholarship. Interacting with the literature on academic freedom and drawing from extensive personal experience, Diekema develops a sound definition of academic freedom, assesses the threats it faces, acknowledges the role of worldview in its implementation, explores policy implications for its protection and promotion, and gives practical advice to those connected with or interested in the Christian academy.
The dawning of the third millennium finds many Christian colleges and universities in a search for identity. Coming to grips with the confused, often maligned topic of academic freedom is an essential part of this search. In this volume an unabashed defender of academic freedom offers well-founded advice to an academy that has seemingly lost its way. Drawing on forty years in higher education, including twenty years as president of Calvin College, Anthony Diekema reflects on the extensive scholarly literature on academic freedom against the backdrop of personal experience. He develops the larger philosophical framework necessary for thinking about academic freedom but also offers pointed advice gleaned from specific events and challenges to academic freedom that he has personally confronted. This balanced approach provides a seasoned perspective for those struggling with the subject of academic freedom in their own institutions. In the course of the book Diekema develops a sound working definition of the concept of academic freedom, assesses the threats it faces, acknowledges the significance of worldview in its implementation, and explores the policy implications for its protection and promotion in Christian colleges.
Diekema was president of Calvin College from 1976 to 1996. He now works as a consultant in higher education and for nonprofit organizations.