Faith and Knowledge in American Higher Education: A Review Essay

Beaty, Michael D. Todd Buras and Larry Lyon. "Faith and Knowledge in American Higher Education: A Review Essay," Fides et Historia, 29, no. 1 (Winter/Spring 1997): 73-80

Michael Beaty, Todd Buras, and Larry Lyon argue that church-related colleges and universities have responded to the challenges of modernity by separating faith and learning into separate “spheres.” Under this “two-sphere” model, religious faith and the pursuit of knowledge are undertaken without reference to each other. According to the authors, this separation of faith and knowledge is an inadequate means for maintaining religion at church-related colleges. They compare their own research with a book by Douglas Sloan entitled, Faith and Knowledge: Mainline Protestantism and American Higher Education. Sloan’s work traces efforts by Protestant educators to reconnect churches with the intellectual work of higher education after World War I. This effort had failed by the 1960s. Beaty, Buras and Lyon praise Sloan for enriching the historical literature on religion in higher education, and they agree with his description of the separation of faith and knowledge in the academy. However, they insist that Sloan should have criticized the two-spheres model more vigorously. (AS)