Faith and Leadership Interview with George Marsden

Marsden reflects on Christian education, Jonathan Edwards, and Reformed spirituality.  Here is a taste:

Q: It seems that institutions driven by an explicit confessional Christian commitment provide reasons for being that are stronger than simply training people to make money.

That’s certainly true. A few years ago the retiring academic dean at Harvard, Harry Lewis, wrote a book called “Excellence Without a Soul,” talking about why he saw Harvard education as becoming empty, because it’s too much driven by immediate vocational interests, and competing interests and vocational interests of faculty; no one is thinking about holistic education.

Whereas higher education in the more evangelical frame has been driven by a vision of Christians as having a cultural task as well as evangelistic tasks, the idea that there should be an infusion of Christian principles throughout everything people do in their lives. It provides a coherence that a lot of people are seeing as lacking in the educational mainstream.

That has something to do with these schools doing relatively well with respect to growth in the last 15 years or so. Even though it costs a lot to send people to those institutions, parents and students recognize you’re getting the kind of education that people have traditionally imagined college should be about, that has some direction to it, some coherence to it. It’s not just a cafeteria of odd things that you might be interested in studying.

One thought on “Faith and Leadership Interview with George Marsden

  1. Yes, by all means. Drop 100 grand in tuition at Harvard and learn how not to make money.

    If you're lucky, you can present a paper in front of the American Historical Association on

    Environmental Morality and Artisanal Pork: Local
    Food to Save the Planet—
    Thomas R. Dunlap, Texas A&M University

    Oh, John, it's beyond parody. Better he'd have learned firsthand how to raise artisanal pigs to save the planet than write about them. And he could have made 10 bucks an hour sloppin the hogs and shoveling pig puddings instead of going into massive tuition debt.

    If there's any justice in this world, and there is…


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