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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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Religion, Reluctance, and Conversations about Vocation

Religion, Reluctance, and Conversations about Vocation

(p.272) 12 Religion, Reluctance, and Conversations about Vocation
Vocation across the Academy

Mark U. Edwards

Oxford University Press

The language of vocation and calling has its roots in religious discourse, but religion is a topic that poses significant challenges in the academic environment. Faculty in particular are likely to make snap judgments about religion, based not only on media reports and general cultural assumptions, but on certain aspects of their training and formation as scholars. Their motives may range from social and political objections to psychological and epistemological concerns. While campuses will obviously vary in the degree to which these concerns impede conversations about calling and vocation, the concern is sufficiently widespread to demand attention to certain practices when addressing such issues. These practices include a change in focus from debate to conversation, a willingness to speak with one’s interlocutors on their own terms, and attending to imbalances in power and risk.

Keywords:   vocation, calling, religion, controversy, religion and politics, religion and gender, faith and reason, religion and psychology, debate vs. conversation, religion and higher education

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