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Evangelicals and Roman Catholics have been responsible for the establishment of many colleges and universities in America, but they have historically taken markedly different approaches to education and viewed one another's efforts with some suspicion. Recent years, however, have seen the development of a more cooperative tone. In this volume, Mark Noll and James Turner offer candid reassessments of the strengths and weaknesses of each tradition.
Taking two distinct but complementary approaches to the subject, Noll and Turner provide enlightening essays that reconsider the present state of Christian learning, what the two most influential sections of American Christianity have to offer one another, and how they might learn from each other. The two authors then respond to one another's essays.
The insightful dialogue of these two influential scholars will be of great interest to anyone involved in higher education or concerned with the role of Christian faith in the modern university.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Brazos Press
Publication Date: 2008
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.
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.
Mark A. Noll (PhD,Vanderbilt University) is the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of many books including A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Turning Points, and Is the Reformation Over?
Thomas Albert Howard (PhD, University of Virginia) is associate professor of history at Gordon College and the author of Religion and the Rise of Historicism.
"This volume is a sign of hope in the changing landscape of Catholic and evangelical relationships. And the dialogue it records is a model for many others that need to take place both in the academy and among the churches---candid, insightful, drawing on the wisdom of the past but looking to the future, marked by respect yet filled with hope. That such an exchange should be sponsored by a historic evangelical institution [Gordon College], while no longer surprising, does show how far we have come." -Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
"As they strive to contribute to the production of knowledge and reverse a 'scandalous' reputation for second-rate thinking, what can evangelical Christians learn from the experience of their American Catholic counterparts, who sponsor and staff 225 institutions of higher education in the United States? And how are Catholics usefully challenged by the evangelicals' insistence that 'Christian learning' be incorporated into research, teaching, and the (intentional or inadvertent) character formation that goes on in university settings? The Future of Christian Learning brings together in respectful but lively dialogue two prominent and influential historians of religion's various presences and absences in American higher education to consider these and related questions. The call-and-response format allows Professors Noll and Turner to put their considerable erudition and wisdom to lively and provocative use. They agree on much, but it is their disagreements that make this engaging and enjoyable volume a memorable chapter in a larger, vital conversation about the future of faith-based education." -R. Scott Appleby, University of Notre Dame
"Two formidable historians give generous and critical evaluations of the roles of Catholicism and Protestantism in American education. Living proof of what Catholics and Protestants can learn from each other, Noll and Turner are both personally and professionally invested in their subject. Their contributions---and Thomas Albert Howard's insightful introductory essay---not only explore, but model, the state of 'Christian learning.'" -Joshua Hochschild, Mount St. Mary's University