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Vocation across the AcademyA New Vocabulary for Higher Education$
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David S. Cunningham

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190607104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190607104.001.0001

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Language that Works

Language that Works

Vocation and the Complexity of Higher Education

(p.1) Introduction Language that Works
Vocation across the Academy

David S. Cunningham

Oxford University Press

The book’s introduction explicates the complexity of American higher education today, with a particular focus on the tensions within and among particular academic disciplines and applied fields. Although these tensions cannot be fully resolved, the language of vocation and calling can provide a new vocabulary for engendering interdisciplinary conversations and helping academic institutions focus on larger questions of meaning and purpose that are increasingly important to their undergraduate students. The language of vocation is capacious in its breadth, dynamic in its ability to adapt to changing circumstances (both of the students who are discerning their callings and of the disciplines and institutions that support this work), and elastic in its adaptability to various disciplinary and institutional circumstances. The introduction concludes with an outline of the four parts of the book and the themes that each of them explores.

Keywords:   vocation, calling, disciplinary conflict, interdisciplinarity, applied fields, elasticity of vocation, dynamism of vocation, capaciousness of vocation

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