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Christianity and the Secular Border Patrol

The Loss of Judeo-Christian Knowledge

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Edited By Barry Kanpol and Mary Poplin

Christianity and the Secular Border Patrol: The Loss of Judeo-Christian Knowledge centrally looks at how secular universities have dominated academic knowledge on the one hand and have also been a part of bias against Christian academics on the other. Authors generally ask for borders of understanding and collegial dialogue to bridge gaps of knowledge that exist because of this bias. Theoretical analysis and narratives from the field describe how overcoming extreme theoretical positions may allow for productive knowledge construction and a more harmonious relationship within the culture wars of our times, especially in higher education.

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1. Blinded by Secular Interpretations of Religious Knowledge (Mary Poplin)

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1.   Blinded by Secular Interpretations of Religious Knowledge

MARY POPLIN

Stanley Fish, literary scholar and public intellectual, who himself influenced post-modernist thought, predicted more than 10 years ago that the academy would ultimately turn back to religion (Fish, 2005). What was more unexpected is that he suggested that intellectuals would once again have to consider religion, not just as an object to study but rather “as a candidate for truth.” This has yet to happen. Prior to his prediction above, Fish had warned the religious that they should not be satisfied with gaining a seat at the secular academic table where they would simply be patronized and marginalized.

If you persuade liberalism that its dismissive marginalizing of religious discourse is a violation of its own chief principle, all you will gain is the right to sit down at liberalism’s table where before you were denied an invitation; but it will still be liberalism’s table that you are sitting at, and the etiquette of the conversation will still be hers. That is, someone will now turn and ask, “Well, what does religion have to say about this question?” And when, as often will be the case, religion’s answer is doctrinaire (what else could it be?), the moderator (a title deeply revealing) will nod politely and turn to someone who is presumed to be more reasonable. To put the matter baldly, a person of religious conviction should not want to...

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