Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Post-secular universities.

Gary Bouma is reported in today's Sydney Morning Herald as arguing that universities ought to reconsider their secular stance.

I'm not sure that he's rightly understood the historical reason for secular universities, which is not to exclude religion, but to ensure that no one religion is made compulsory. Witness Sydney and Melbourne Universities, both secular, and yet recognizing and catering to church-run residential colleges—a quite deliberate move on the part of those who founded the universities.

That said, it's probably good to remind secularists that we are moving into a post-secularist society, and Bouma's talk at UWS does this.

2 comments:

Dark knight said...

Thanks for the link, Gordon. prof. Bouma really seems to get around, he was in Perth at our cathedral last week delivering a lecture.

Good term, "post-secular". I wonder what a post secular university would look like? i wonder how you teach disciplines such as philosophy or history of religion in a non-religious setting?

One Salient Oversight said...

Personally I think we're on the cusp of a new modernism, or a new secularism. Ever since George Bush made decisions based upon faith and gut feelings when it came to Iraq and global warming, an increasing amount of people (I believe) are turning to a more scientific/objective viewpoint.

So all those books about atheism at the moment will have an effect... especially when you consider some of the more outlandish and incredible attitudes towards atheists that some in America have.