10.04.2006

Harvard's Possible Core Curriculum

Or, Why I Might Still Have a Job in Twenty Years' Time.

Today's Crimson reports that the proposed overhaul of the Harvard College Core Curriculum includes a required course in matters religious and their relation to the modern world. With a nod and a twist on JP II's Fides et Ratio, the "Reason and Faith" course would obviously not be a full-on Christian theology course -- nor should it be, at a non-Christian school like Harvard. But it would at least have the advantage of introducing every undergraduate student to the importance of religion as a phenomenon and a system of meaning for the vast majority of their fellow human beings throughout the world. A flagship school like Harvard's putting religious studies so front and center, after decades of assuming that religion was on the cusp of withering away, would do much to remind the academy a) that religious beliefs of millions of people still play a major role in their lives and are not quite as backwards or incoherent as might otherwise have been thought in some circles, and b) that there are more and less adequate scholarly ways of studying religion, e.g., that there's a vast difference between academic theology and religious studies and Dan Brownish "scholarship" and the "inspiration" section of your local Barnes and Noble...

We'll see if it stays in the final proposal.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Good news indeed. But we already know Harvard valuee religion. After all, Dan Brown's hero in the Da Vinci Code, Richard Langdon, is a professor of symbology at Harvard. I mean, that's a well-established field and everything! [snark]