Dumbed down

On September 11, 2001, my job got a lot easier. I had been toiling for 15 years to establish a department of religious studies at my university. Its strongly secular faculty, sensitive to political winds in a southern, conservative state, feared that such a program would inevitably be dominated by evangelical Christians. State legislators, suspicious as always of college professors, feared that religious studies in a university setting would mean state-sponsored attacks on Christian belief. The university president had nightmares about headlines in the local paper. Besides, the university had more pressing needs. Religious studies seemed either a luxury or a potential headache—something the university couldn’t afford or didn’t need.

 

This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.