Academia: no place for young Christian scholars?

Apr 5, 2019 by

by Rod Dreher, The American Conservative.

A reader who is a senior academic at a major university writes in response to this Villanova post of mine earlier today. He does not teach at Villanova, but said that my analysis of the president and the provost’s letter is 100 percent true about academia in general. He writes:

The degree to which the diversity/inclusion goal has usurped the actual intellectual/scholarly core of academic disciplines is staggering.  One sees it everywhere.  The notion that “activism,” “advocacy,” and “social justice” are central to the mission of academic disciplines is seen in ever growing proportions, menacing the true mission of these enterprises.  Administrators trip over themselves to signal their virtue, to one-up even the most ridiculous suggestions of the naive radicals pushing ever more absurd notions of higher education.  “Student-centered education” has come to mean that faculty and administrators have jettisoned their own responsibilities to educate students in favor of surrendering to the whim of a vocal minority (?) of students and activists.

Now that I am nearing the end of my life in academia, most of my reflections on being an old man are lamentations.  All, that is, save for my thoughts about the final stages of my academic career.  If I were a mere lad of 40 and had 30 years left in academics, I think I would have to consider finding another line of work.  The idea of sitting in this stew for three more decades and witnessing first hand the slide into the bizarro world would be too much to stomach.  That I’ll only have to survive another decade or so might be comforting, but for the fact that the slope of the descent is getting steeper and steeper with each passing year.  Where does one turn for some sanity?

Where indeed? In particular, I’d like to ask you readers who are academics to comment on this man’s take. Would you advise promising young scholars to go into academia? Why or why not?

Read here

See also: Letter from a young Christian scholar, by Rod Dreher

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