The Future of Christian Learning

The Future of Christian Learning : An Evangelical and Catholic Dialogue

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Evangelicals and Roman Catholics have been responsible for the establishment of many colleges and universities in America. Until recently, however, they have taken very different approaches to the subject of education and have viewed one another's traditions with suspicion.
In this volume, Mark Noll and James Turner offer critical but appreciative reassessments of the two traditions. Noll, writing from an evangelical perspective, and Turner, from a Roman Catholic perspective, consider the respective strengths and weaknesses of each approach and what they might learn from the other. The authors then provide brief responses to each other's essays. Thoughtful readers from both traditions will find insightful and challenging ideas regarding the importance of Christian learning and the role of faith in the modern college or university.
In many respects, the current volume . . . touch[es] upon three issues: intellectual engagement, tradition, and ecumenism. The basic idea behind the project was to bring [together] a leading American evangelical scholar and a leading American Catholic scholar, both familiar with their own tradition, with one another's tradition, and with the general landscape of "Christian learning," understood to mean what goes on at actual institutions of higher education, as well as the broader world of academic scholarship. Once this goal was formulated, two names quickly leaped to mind: Mark Noll and James Turner--scholars whom I have long suspected might be American reincarnations of the (irenic, erudite) Protestant reformer Philipp Melanchthon and the (irenic, erudite) Catholic humanist Desiderius Erasmus. . . .
As planning processes got under way, however, Mark Noll accepted an endowed chair at Notre Dame, bringing his long and distinguished tenure at Wheaton [College] to an end and thereby making among his first tasks in his new post a toe-to-toe encounter with his new colleague and (then-serving) departmental chair, James Turner! Thus our dialogue lost the symbolism of confessionally contrasting institutions, even as we retained the intellectual firepower of the invitees. As readers will discover, those [at the conference] were rewarded with a heady mix of hard-earned erudition, theological commitment, and gracious eloquence--all focused on what I am persuaded are among the more interesting and consequential developments in recent decades: points of (promising) contact and (lingering) conflict between evangelical and Catholic approaches to higher education and scholarship.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 137.16 x 213.36 x 17.78mm | 181.44g
  • Brazos Press, Div of Baker Publishing Group
  • Ada, MI, United States
  • English
  • 1587432137
  • 9781587432132
  • 1,968,638

Back cover copy

"This volume is a sign of hope in the changing landscape of Catholic and evangelical relationships. And the dialogue it records is a model for many others that need to take place both in the academy and among the churches--candid, insightful, drawing on the wisdom of the past but looking to the future, marked by respect yet filled with hope."--Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
"A respectful but lively dialogue. The call-and-response format allows Professors Noll and Turner to put their considerable erudition and wisdom to lively and provocative use. They agree on much, but it is their disagreements that make this engaging and enjoyable volume a memorable chapter in a larger, vital conversation about the future of faith-based education."--R. Scott Appleby, University of Notre Dame
"An illuminating dialogue on the nature of Christian education as well as what and how evangelicals and Catholics may learn from each other. The editor, Thomas Albert Howard, provides an outstanding review of the issues at stake and the importance of the Noll-Turner dialogue. The authors suggest a bold and ambitious vision, one that embodies what should be an uncontroversial premise: scholarship and teaching at a Christian institution of higher learning ought to take seriously the philosophical tapestry of ideas, principles, and beliefs on which the Christian faith rests and from which it offers an account of what is good, true, and beautiful."--Francis J. Beckwith, Baylor University
"Two formidable historians give generous and critical evaluations of the roles of Catholicism and Protestantism in American education. Living proof of what Catholics and Protestants can learn from each other, Noll and Turner are both personally and professionally invested in their subject. Their contributions--and Thomas Albert Howard's insightful introductory essay--not only explore, but model, the state of 'Christian learning.'"--Joshua Hochschild, Mount St. Mary's University
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About Thomas Albert Howard

Mark A. Noll (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame and the author of numerous works including "Is the Reformation Over?" and "The Rise of Evangelicalism." James Turner (PhD, Harvard University) is the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, CSC Professor of the Humanities at the University of Notre Dame and the author of "Without God, Without Creed: The Origins of Unbelief in America." Thomas Albert Howard (PhD, University of Virginia) is associate professor of history at Gordon College and the author of "Religion and the Rise of Historicism."
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14 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 21% (3)
4 50% (7)
3 14% (2)
2 14% (2)
1 0% (0)
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