Encyclopedia project stirs heated argument

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization
In the spring of 2006, a University of Chicago Divinity School expert on the history of Christianity was approached by George T. Kurian, a prolific editor of reference books, including two on Christianity. Kurian asked the professor, Bernard McGinn, to serve on the editorial board for an ambitious project: The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization.

“I agreed, and in subsequent months gave Mr. Kurian advice about helping shape the project,” said McGinn, who also suggested possible contributors and wrote three entries himself.

McGinn said he “heard no more about the project for some time” until last fall when he received a copy of Kurian’s 43-page introduction to the encyclopedia to be published by Wiley-Blackwell. “I unfortunately found it unacceptable, at least in its initial form, for a serious encyclopedia.”


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