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Does God Make a Difference?Taking Religion Seriously in Our Schools and Universities$
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Warren Nord

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199766888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766888.001.0001

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Liberal Education

Liberal Education

(p.103) 5 Liberal Education
Does God Make a Difference?

Warren A. Nord

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that public schools and universities must take religion seriously for a number of reasons. It begins saying something about what it means to take religion seriously, distinguishing among a variety of ways in which students might learn about religion. It focuses on liberal education and its role in facilitating critical thinking. It shows that a liberal education requires that students be initiated into an ongoing conversation about how to make sense of the world—one in which religious voices must be included as live options. It argues that if we take religion seriously, we need not take everything seriously—and attempts to short-circuit the arguments of those who think that religion needn't be taken seriously because it is not intellectually respectable. The chapter concludes with a few comments about the underappreciated virtue of humility in education.

Keywords:   American education, religion, religious education, public schools, public universities, liberal education, humility

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