The Sacred and the Secular University / Edition 1 available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Princeton University Press
The first section of the book examines how the study of science became detached from theological considerations. Previously, one of the primary pursuits of "natural scientists" was to achieve an understanding of the workings of the divine in earthly events. During the late nineteenth century, however, scientists reduced the scope of their inquiries to subjects that could be isolated, measured, and studied objectively. In pursuit of "scientific truth," they were drawn away from the larger "truths" that they had once sought. On a related path, social scientists began to pursue the study of human society more scientifically, attempting to generalize principles of behavior from empirically observed events.
The second section describes the revolution that occurred in the humanities, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, when the study of humanities was largely the study of Greek and Latin. By 1900, however, the humanities were much more broadly construed, including such previously unstudied subjects as literature, philosophy, history, and art history. The "triumph of the humanities" represented a significant change in attitudes about what constituted academic knowledge and, therefore, what should be a part of the college curriculum.
The Sacred and the Secular University rewrites the history of higher education in the United States. It will interest all readers who are concerned about American universities and about how the content of a "college education" has changed over the course of the last century.
"[Jon Roberts and James Turner's] thoroughly researched and carefully argued presentations invite readers to revisit stereotypical generalizations and to rethink the premises developed in the late nineteenth century that underlie the modern university. At the least, their arguments challenge crude versions of the secularization thesis as applied to higher education."From the foreword by William G. Bowen and Harold T. Shapiro
About the Author
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION BY JOHN F. WILSON 3
PART ONE: THE SCIENCES 17
CHAPTER ONE Religion, Science, and Higher Education 19
CHAPTER TWO The Emergence of the Human Sciences 43
CHAPTER THREE Knowledge and Inquiry in the Ascendant 61
PART TWO: THE HUMANITIES 73
CHAPTER FOUR The Triumph of the Humanities 75
CHAPTER FIVE The Boon and Bane of Specialization 83
CHAPTER SIX Two Ideals of Knowledge 95
CHAPTER SEVEN For and against Secularization 107
What People are Saying About This
A brief, highly readable survey of the de-Christianization of the American academy that should attract a wide readership among historians of education, science, and religion.
Ronald Numbers, University of Wisconsin
The issues of religion in public life and the role of religion in colleges are receiving a lot of attention today. This book makes a significant contribution to those discussions.
Wayne Proudfoot, Columbia University
"A brief, highly readable survey of the de-Christianization of the American academy that should attract a wide readership among historians of education, science, and religion."Ronald Numbers, University of Wisconsin"The issues of religion in public life and the role of religion in colleges are receiving a lot of attention today. This book makes a significant contribution to those discussions."Wayne Proudfoot, Columbia University