Studies of Protestant Church-Related Education

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Tue, 09/01/1987
End Date: 
Sun, 06/30/1991

Douglas Sloan researched and wrote a book entitled, Faith and Knowledge: Mainline Protestantism and American Higher Education. Sloan explored the impact of the Protestant theological renaissance (1925-1960) on American colleges and universities. This investigation allowed Sloan to evaluate mainline Protestants’ claims that their churches have had a continuing presence in higher education built on their ability to connect faith with modern conceptions of knowledge. According to Sloan, mainline Protestants did try to reconcile tensions between faith and more popular views of objective knowledge. But overall they did not deal effectively with the faith-knowledge question, and this eventually led to the disengagement of Protestant churches from their colleges.
<p>Sloan does identify three positive outcomes of this period of Protestant revival. They are (1) the influences of Reinhold Niebuhr, Richard Niehbuhr, and Paul Tillich, (2) the role of national ecumenical and denominational organizations, and (3) the changing roles of chaplains. Sloan concludes by reflecting on the potential of religion to critique and redefine ways of knowing. (KH)