The Dying of the Light
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Selected by Christianity Today as one of the top ten books of 1999, The Dying of the Light provides case studies of seventeen denominationally diverse colleges and universities that explore the dynamics of church-school relations and show how and why they have tended to wither over time.
James Tunstead Burtchaell, who has extensive experience in American higher education as both a teacher and an administrator, provides case studies of seventeen prominent colleges and universities with diverse ecclesial origins - Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, and Evangelical. Using published and archival sources as well as firsthand interaction with each institution he covers, Burtchaell narrates how each school's religious identity eventually became first uncomfortable and then expendable, and he analyzes the processes that eroded the bonds between school and church.
Burtchaell is one of the early presidents of the American Academy of Religion and formerly at the University of Notre Dame. He is now a full-time researcher and writer.