Friday, 6 August 2010

Persecution in the Academy: Soft & Subtle?

Further to my last post on the Oxford University academic who experienced veiled persecution after her conversion from Judaism to Christianity, here is a more general account of how things stand with Christians in the academy. National Public Radio in the US has carried a story on the often soft and subtle forms persecution that Christian faculty in the secular academy have to bear (click on the post title to view).
Another side to this story, I'm sure, would be the degree to which Christian students in the secular academy have to shy away from expressing their faith in their academic work in order to receive good grades. More than one university student in the Australian context has told me of how they have had to publicly accomodate themselves to the often agressive anti-Christian bias of university lecturers and professors. I do know, though, that the ethos of secular universities vis a vis religion generally and Christianity in particular, can differ quite markedly from one university to another in Australia, and I assume the same applies elsewhere too.

The irony behind all this, of course, is that the university as we know it is itself an idea largely conceived in the womb of Christian civilisation which was to be dedicated to searching out universal knowledge, of which religion was an essential part.

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