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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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6. Understanding Scholarly Antipathy towards Christian Scholarly Perspectives Using Christian Critical Psychology: An Ironic Tale and Analysis (Eric L. Johnson)

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6.   Understanding Scholarly Antipathy towards Christian Scholarly Perspectives Using Christian Critical Psychology: An Ironic Tale and Analysis

ERIC L. JOHNSON

An Ironic Tale

As a member of Division 24 of the American Psychological Association, I received an invitation a few years back to write an entry in a proposed Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology. I had been interested in critical psychology since I was a doctoral student, when I had read Bernstein (1976), who contrasted four contemporary orientations to the human condition: empirical research, philosophical analysis, phenomenological investigation, and critical theory. Tracing the first explicit articulation of critical theory to the Frankfurt school (Adorno, Horkheimer, & Marcuse), and beyond that to its roots in Marx, Bernstein believed Habermas was its best contemporary exponent. Habermas, according to Bernstein, understood critical theory as a fundamentally practical agenda that promotes emancipation through enlightenment by which members of a society come to recognize their understanding is systemically and socially distorted.

In the years since, I came to realize that a “critical” approach referred to a set of assumptions about human beings that could be developed in any number of different, legitimate directions, but all of which seek to (1) expose a false consciousness regarding humanity—and usually regarding a specific group of humans—that is composed of beliefs and attitudes, ideological distortions that are realized in forms of social oppression; (2) promote enlightenment regarding the false/oppressive state of affairs; and (3)...

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