Friday, April 2, 2010

Do religious universities serve the public good?

An article in OnCampus by Todd Pettigrew, April 2nd, 2010 Do religious universities serve the public good? has the following interesting passage:

...Let me put it another way. Imagine three scholars were proposing to start new universities in Canada this year with mission statements that included the following:

Canadian Olympian University is an innovative university dedicated to the fearsome Gods of Olympus, rooted in the classical faith tradition, moved and transformed by the life and teachings of the epic poet Homer. Through teaching, research and service COU inspires and equips women and men for lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite and their followers.

As a polytheistic community, Atlantic Egyptian University upholds pagan standards of behavior to which faculty and staff are required to conform. These standards derive not only from ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics, but also from the culture of the Pharaohs, the priesthood and their slaves.

The mission of Canadian Mesopotamian University, as an arm of Taimat and Abzu, is to develop sky-respecting leaders: positive, goal-oriented university graduates with minds dedicated to Enlil, god of storms; growing disciples of Nin-Khursag, the earth goddess,who glorify Enki, water god and patron of wisdom.

These all sound silly, of course, and we would all think twice before hiring a graduate from any of these schools to teach our children or treat our diseases. But they are all real statements from Canadian religious universities (Canadian Mennonite, Atlantic Baptist/Crandall, and Trinity Western) with the Christian references removed and other real, if ancient, religions put in their place...

It's interesting and worth reading.

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jules said...

No, religious universities are no good at all, despite the fact that 'Christianity', to be specific, first conceived and developed the very idea in the first place. Then the clerics developed the idea of scientific inquiry, which continued right thru the time of Gregor Mendel, a monk. Of course, if you want to look at Islam as a 'religion' you'd really be able to prove that certain ideologies are completely anti-intellectual and opposed to free inquiry since the Islamic world has been creatively stagnant since it's inception. But don't bother looking into the 'academic' world of Islam or you might lose your head.

Unknown said...

There are many privatized Christian high schools & "University's" here in the United States. I think that they may offer some fine guidance in some specific subjects, but it seems like a recipe for bias & convenience of ideological teachings. I think that aspects of art, music, life sciences, history and the exploration of other controversial subjects would be at a loss.

Just as I have seen & heard of Christian privatized hospitals treating patients with bias & negligence- I do not think that an institution as important as Schooling or healthcare should not be state-funded as a religious institution. If parents, or adults would like to attend such institutions for moral practices & surroundings, they should be welcome to do so, but I do not personally see them as nearly as credible in general.