In the twenty-first century, religious faith has reemerged from the margins of modernism and moved back to the center of contemporary scholarly conversations. "When Jacques Derrida died," Stanley Fish recently wrote, "I was called by a reporter who wanted to know what would succeed high theory and the triumvirate of race, gender, and class as the center of intellectual energy in the academy. I answered like a shot: religion." A group of evaluators of the Lilly Endowment's Initiative on Religion and Higher Education recently agreed. "There is today more discussion about the role of religion in the academy than at any time in the past 40 years and more commitment to the project of Christian higher education than there was just ten years ago." In recognition of these developments, this particular monograph offers an overview of the various ways conversations about religion and religiously informed scholarship are increasing in the academy. Although a growing number of faith traditions are finding their place in this conversation, the Christian tradition in its various forms is still the dominant voice.
This monograph addresses the history of secularization in American higher education and scholarship; the historical and resistance by dominant religious traditions to that secularization; the contemporary ways that individual scholars, networks, and institutions approach the question of religious faith and scholarship; the concerns such a question raises for academic freedom; and the relationship between religious faith and scholarship.