Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

School Spirit


Harvard may have rejected the proposal for a religion requirement, but that doesn’t mean religion is dead in higher ed, according to John Schmalzbauer, writing in the WSJ:

One of the places where the action may be heading is Princeton University, home of the Center for the Study of Religion. Established in 2001 to explore what director Robert Wuthnow calls “the most understudied social phenomenon of the 20th century,” the center has sponsored freshman seminars and advanced courses in history, sociology, philosophy, English, art, theater and dance, anthropology, and East Asian studies. At the time of its founding, Princeton’s president, Harold Shapiro, said that he knew of “no other institution in the United States pursuing efforts as interdisciplinary and wide-ranging.”

Another institution to watch is UCLA, home to a massive study on “Spirituality in Higher Education” led by Alexander and Helen Astin of the Higher Education Research Institute. Through a national survey of 112,000 undergraduates, the Astins’ project has documented strong student interest in spirituality and religion. Responding to this demand, UCLA is creating a National Institute on Integrating Spirituality into the Campus Curriculum and Cocurriculum. According to Mr. Astin, the most cited higher-education researcher in America, “spirituality deserves a central place in liberal education.”


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