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Exiles from Eden: Religion and the Academic Vocation in America (Paperback)
  • Exiles from Eden: Religion and the Academic Vocation in America (Paperback)

Exiles from Eden: Religion and the Academic Vocation in America (Paperback)

Paperback 160 Pages / Published: 10/03/2005
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In this thoughtful and literate study, Schwehn argues that Max Weber and several of his contemporaries led higher education astray by stressing research-the making and transmitting of knowledge-at the expense of shaping moral character. Schwehn sees an urgent need for a change in orientation and calls for a "spiritually grounded education in and for thoughtfulness." The reforms he endorses would replace individualistic behavior, the "doing my own work" syndrome derived from the Enlightenment, with a communitarian ethic grounded in Judeo-Christian spirituality. Schwehn critiques philosophies of higher education he considers misguided, from Weber and Henry Adams to Derek Bok, Allan Bloom, and William G. Perry Jr. He draws out valid insights, 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. Schwehn's study will interest all those concerned with higher education in America today: faculty, students, parents, alumni, administrators, trustees, and foundation officers.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780195179736
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 205 g
Dimensions: 208 x 137 x 12 mm

"A volume that university administrators in both religious and secular settings could usefully give their faculty colleagues to help restore a better sense of the purpose of their academic vocation....A compelling argument both for the restoration of religion in the understanding and practice of the academic vocation in general and for the more particular efforts of religious communities to transmit their convictions in the setting of modern higher education."-Commonweal
"There can be no doubt that the academy in the West is undergoing, and must undergo, fundamental alterations in direction and self-understanding. Schwehn's book is a significant contribution to the necessary debate."-The Cresset
"Eminently readable, solidly grounded in its sources, it makes a contribution to the debate about values in higher education. The author handles religio-spiritual questions with great sensitivity."-Robert P. Swierenga, Kent State University
"Schwehn offers a universal, rational, and religiously-informed philosophy of education."-Koinonia Journal
"Intelligent and provocative....Persuasive....Schwehn is certainly fighting the good fight....This thesis,...can be fruitfully debated on any American campus. Will it be debated? Not unless Mark Schwehn provides us with a sequel, for which we may devoutly hope."-Crisis
"By means of a fresh, penetrating, and exceedingly lucid account of the intellectual and cultural roots of the modern academy, Schwehn sheds light on the cause of the current contradictions experienced by professors....Carefully researched and informed by considerable learning....It is not simply an academic book, for Schwehn is himself no ordinary academic, and he has long known it."-First Things
"Schwehn's work is to be commended."-Review and Expositor

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