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The Future of Christian Learning

eBook|Jun 2008
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Two front rank historians dialogue, from Catholic and evangelical perspectives, on the current state of Christian higher education and suggest ways forward.Evangelicals and Roman Catholics have been responsible for the establishment of many colleges and universities in America. Until recently,...


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Two front rank historians dialogue, from Catholic and evangelical perspectives, on the current state of Christian higher education and suggest ways forward.Evangelicals and Roman Catholics have been responsible for the establishment of many colleges and universities in America. Until recently, however, they have taken very different approaches to the subject of education and have viewed one another's traditions with suspicion.

In this volume, Mark Noll and James Turner offer critical but appreciative reassessments of the two traditions. Noll, writing from an evangelical perspective, and Turner, from a Roman Catholic perspective, consider the respective strengths and weaknesses of each approach and what they might learn from the other. The authors then provide brief responses to each other's essays. Thoughtful readers from both traditions will find insightful and challenging ideas regarding the importance of Christian learning and the role of faith in the modern college or university.

EXCERPT
In many respects, the current volume . . . touch[es

Evangelicals and Roman Catholics have been responsible for the establishment of many colleges and universities in America. Until recently, however, they have taken very different approaches to the subject of education and have viewed one another's traditions with suspicion.

In this volume, Mark Noll and James Turner offer critical but appreciative reassessments of the two traditions. Noll, writing from an evangelical perspective, and Turner, from a Roman Catholic perspective, consider the respective strengths and weaknesses of each approach and what they might learn from the other. The authors then provide brief responses to each other's essays. Thoughtful readers from both traditions will find insightful and challenging ideas regarding the importance of Christian learning and the role of faith in the modern college or university.

EXCERPT
In many respects, the current volume ... touch[es] upon three issues: intellectual engagement, tradition, and ecumenism. The basic idea behind the project was to bring [together] a leading American evangelical scholar and a leading American Catholic scholar, both familiar with their own tradition, with one another's tradition, and with the general landscape of "Christian learning," understood to mean what goes on at actual institutions of higher education, as well as the broader world of academic scholarship. Once this goal was formulated, two names quickly leaped to mind: Mark Noll and James Turner--scholars whom I have long suspected might be American reincarnations of the (irenic, erudite) Protestant reformer Philipp Melanchthon and the (irenic, erudite) Catholic humanist Desiderius Erasmus... .
As planning processes got under way, however, Mark Noll accepted an endowed chair at Notre Dame, bringing his long and distinguished tenure at Wheaton [College] to an end and thereby making among his first tasks in his new post a toe-to-toe encounter with his new colleague and (then-serving) departmental chair, James Turner! Thus our dialogue lost the symbolism of confessionally contrasting institutions, even as we retained the intellectual firepower of the invitees. As readers will discover, those [at the conference] were rewarded with a heady mix of hard-earned erudition, theological commitment, and gracious eloquence--all focused on what I am persuaded are among the more interesting and consequential developments in recent decades: points of (promising) contact and (lingering) conflict between evangelical and Catholic approaches to higher education and scholarship.

-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL

James Turner

James Turner started making comics as soon as he was first able to hold a pencil, and has been spouting a nonsensical whirlwind of monsters, robots and talking vegetables ever since. His acclaimed web comic The Unfeasible Adventures of Beaver and Steve won tens of thousands of followers online, and his anthropomorphic crime fighting team "The Super Animal Adventure Squad" appeared weekly in the pages of the children's comic the DFC. He has sworn that he will not stop making comics until every bizarre character, every unfeasible adventure, and every terrible pun has been uncovered. But he might

Mark Noll

Mark A. Noll (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) is Francis McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is advisory editor for Books and Culture and subeditor for the new Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Noll's main academic interests concern the interaction of Christianity and culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Anglo-American societies.
He has published articles and reviews on a wide variety of subjects involving Christianity in modern history. Some of his many books include The Civil War as a Theological Crisis; Is the Reformation Over?; The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield and the Wesleys; The Old Religion in a New World and most recently The New Shape of World Christianity; Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind and Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia.

Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is an English professor (recently retired, after nearly forty years of teaching), who taught at Gordon College and then at St. John's Seminary. He is a highly acclaimed writer and scholar, noted for his studies of Inklings C.S. Lewis (Narnia & Beyond: A Guide to the Fiction of C.S. Lewis [2006, 1987]) and Charles Williams (The Novels of Charles Williams [1991]), as well as books including Christ the Tiger (1967), Chance or the Dance? (1969), Hallowed be This House (1976), Evangelical is Not Enough (1984), If Your Mind Wanders at Mass (1995), On Being Catholic (1997), and The Secret of New York Revealed.

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