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Exiles from Eden Religion and the Academic Vocation in America

by Mark R. Schwehn

  • ISBN: 9780195073430
  • ISBN10: 0195073436

Exiles from Eden Religion and the Academic Vocation in America

by Mark R. Schwehn

  • List Price: $45.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 12/01/1992
  • ISBN: 9780195073430
  • ISBN10: 0195073436
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Description: Exiles From Eden sounds a call to the American academic community to begin seeking a solution to the many problems facing higher education today by rediscovering a proper sense of its vocation. Schwehn argues that the modern university has forgotten its spiritual foundations and that it needs to reappropriate those foundations before it can creatively and responsibly reform itself. The first part of the book offers a critical examination of the ethos of the modern academy, especially its understanding of knowledge, teaching, and learning. Schwehn then formulates a description of the "new cultural context" within which the world of higher learning is presently situated. Finally, he develops a view of knowledge and inquiry that is linked essentially to character, friendship, and community. In the process, he demonstrates that the practice of certain spiritual virtues is and always has been essential to the process of genuine learning - even within the secular academy. Schwehn critiques philosophies of higher education he sees as misguided, from Weber and Henry Adams to Derek Bok, Allan Bloom, and William G. Perry, Jr., drawing out valid insights, while always showing the theological underpinnings of the so-called secular thinkers. He emphasizes the importance of community, drawing on both the secular communitarian theory of Richard Rorty and that of the Christian theorist Parker Palmer. Finally, he outlines his own prescription for a classroom-centered spiritual community of scholars. Exiles From Eden examines the relationship between religion and higher learning in a way that is at once historical and philosophical and that is both critical and constructive. It calls for nothing lessthan a reunion of the intellectual, the moral, and the spiritual virtues within the world of higher education in America. It will engage all those concerned with higher education in America today: faculty, students, parents, alumni, administrators, trustees, and foundation officers.
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