In this book, Mike Higton provides a constructive critique of Higher Education policy and practice in the UK, the US and beyond, from the standpoint of Christian theology. He focuses on the role universities can and should play in forming students and staff in intellectual virtue, in sustaining vibrant communities of inquiry, and in serving the public good. He argues both that modern secular universities can be a proper context for Christians to pursue their calling as disciples to learn and to teach, and that Christians can contribute to the flourishing of such universities as institutions devoted to learning for the common good. In the process he sets out a vision of the good university as secular and religiously plural, as socially inclusive, and as deeply and productively entangled with the surrounding society. Along the way, he engages with a range of historical examples (the medieval University of Paris, the University of Berlin in the nineteenth century, and John Henry Newman's work in Oxford and Dublin) and with a range of contemporary writers on Higher Education from George Marsden to Stanley Hauerwas and from David Ford to Rowan Williams.
Mike Higton is Academic Co-Director of the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme (part of the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Cambridge), and Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of Exeter. He has served as Head of the Department of Theology in Exeter, and before that as the director of the Theology programme in the Department of Lifelong Learning. He is the author of several books, including Christian Doctrine, Difficult Gospel: The Theology of Rowan Williams and Christ, Providence and History: The Public Theology of Hans W. Frei.
"As a hopeful book, [A Theology of Higher Education
] connects theology with education in a way that asks theologians to push higher education to account for what is good despite the secular nature of university and the crucible in which it finds itself. As universities face what some have suggested as the 'bursting of the academic bubble,' Higton challenges higher education to recommit itself to the common good. For him, it is a matter of not only paying attention to market voices, but also ones that are deeply theological." --Patrick Flanagan, St. John's University
"Mike Higton is to be commended for his effort and the manner in which it will provoke thought. Again, his chapter concerning the role the Anglican pattern of worship plays in the academic life alone makes the book a worthwhile project. The chapters preceding it provide a concise summary of theology's influence over time. The chapters succeeding it provide thoughtful considerations of what the future may hold." --Modern Theology
"An important contribution in the conversation of the place and relevance of a Christian voice to the university." --Themelios
"Higton crafts an argument mean to rehabilitate confidence in university education by celebrating what it does well, or could do better... This is a very important book, not least for faculty development." --Renewing Minds
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