1st Edition

Sacred and Secular Tensions in Higher Education Connecting Parallel Universities

Edited By Michael D. Waggoner Copyright 2011
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    Both sacred and secular worldviews have long held a place in U.S. higher education, although non-religious perspectives have been privileged in most institutions in the modern era. Sacred and Secular Tensions in Higher Education illustrates the importance of cultivating multiple worldviews at public, private, and faith-based colleges and universities in the interest of academic freedom, and intellectual and moral dialogue.

    Contributors to this edited collection argue that sacred perspectives are as integral to contemporary higher education in the United States as the more dominant secular perspectives. The debates and issues addressed in this book attempt to rebalance the dialogue and place an emphasis on pluralism, rather than declare victory of one paradigm over the other. Student affairs administrators, higher education and religious studies faculty, and campus ministers and chaplains will benefit from better understanding the interplay of these sometimes competing and sometimes complementary ideas on campus, and the impact of the debate on the lives of faculty, students, and staff.


    1. Sacred and Secular Tensions in Contemporary Higher Education, Michael D. Waggoner

    2. Taking the Tournament of Worldviews Seriously in Education: Why Teaching About Religion is not Enough, Perry L. Glanzer

    3. Teaching Spirituality in Public Higher Education, Carney Strange and Judy Rogers

    4. Understanding the "Interior" Life of Faculty: How Important is Spirituality? Jennifer A. Lindholm and Helen S. Astin

    5. Inviting Atheists to the Table: A Modest Proposal for Higher Education, Robert J. Nash

    6. Jesus, the Enlightenment, and Teaching World History: The Struggles of an Evangelical Scholar, Ralph E. Lentz II

    7. Evangelicals on Campus: An Exploration of Culture, Faith, and College Life, Alyssa N. Bryant

    8. Exploring Religious Pluralism in Higher Education: Non-Majority Religious Perspectives among Entering First-Year College Students, Alyssa N. Bryant

    9. Spirituality and Religion: Through the Eyes of the "Hidden Educators," Christy Moran Craft

    10. University Student Affairs Staff and Their Spiritual Discussions with Students, Jill Burchell, Jenny J. Lee, and Sara Olson

    11. Addressing the Identity-Relevance Dilemma: Religious Particularity and Pluralism at Presbyterian Church-Related Colleges, Robert C. Spach

    12. Being Religious at Knox College: Attitudes Toward Religion, Christian Expression, and Conservative Values on Campus, L. Sue Hulett

    Afterword: Connecting Parallel Universities, Michael D. Waggoner


    Dr. Michael D. Waggoner is Professor of HigherEducation at the University of Northern Iowa and Editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Religion & Education.

    "With the (supposedly) desacralizing effects of higher education (back) on the political agenda in the USA, consideration of this recent book edited by Michael D. Waggoner, Professor of Higher Education at the University of Northern Iowa, could not be timelier. Its close study of the pressures of sacralization versus secularization upon both public and private higher educational institutions and their stakeholders across twelve chapters merits praise and well rewards the reader."The Anglican Theological Review

    "Waggoner skillfully sequences these distinct yet interrelated essays to scaffold historical trends, illuminate contested issues, and offer pragmatic recommendations—making this a valuable resource for sacred and secular audiences."
    Christian Higher Education

    "This volume further deepens our knowledge of religion and spirituality in higher education, both on the student and institutional levels, by presenting 11 articles from the journal Religion and Education. Sacred and Secular Tensions in Higher Education offers benefits to readers from secular and religious institutions alike. This collection of studies offers specific insights on the impact of religion and spirituality for faculty, student affairs staff, counselors, and administrators in addition to students."
    The Review of Higher Education

    "This timely, evocative book boldly explores vital questions including: Can higher education host the high stakes "tournament of world views" now underway? Can the academy navigate between the shoals of relativism and dogmatism (scientific, secular, religious)? How do we contend with the thorny issue of "evangelicals" in the "secular" classroom? What is now asked of the professoriate? What are the consequences for students and society? Courageously wading into this emerging landscape, this book provides historical perspective, intellectual stimulation, and practical guidance—essential reading for both the mildly curious and the deeply concerned professor, academic administrator, or student personnel professional."

    Sharon Daloz Parks, author of Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Young Adults in Their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith

    "Mike Waggoner's edited book makes an important contribution to discussions of sacred and secular tensions across higher education in the United States, adding depth to the international debate about the place of religion, spirituality and non-religious worldviews in public education."

    Robert Jackson, Professor of Religions and Education, University of Warwick, UK and Professor of Religious Diversity and Education, European Wergeland Centre, Oslo, Norway.