Article: Religion, Sectarianism, and the Pursuit of Truth: Reexamining Academic Freedom in the Twenty-first Century, by Kenneth Garcia

Kenneth Garcia’s article appears in volume 5 (2014) of the open access AAUP publication Journal of Academic Freedom. In Ken’s words: “The essay contends that spiritual insight must be allowed to inform the direction scholars take and move them beyond the confines of their disciplinary specializations.” Here’s an excerpt:

Scholars must be free to pursue connections between their disciplines and philosophical or theological insight, however they may conceive the latter. By “theological insight” I do not mean pronouncements by religious authorities; nor do I mean adherence to dogmas or to literal interpretations of religious texts that must be accepted without skepticism and critical assessment; instead, I mean this: a subtle spiritual awareness that there is a surplus of knowledge and meaning to reality that transcends what can be known through ordinary disciplinary methods of inquiry—that findings in many fields of study hint at connections to a greater whole, and that these connections should be pursued.

Not all scholars experience such spiritual awareness, of course, and not even those who do must pursue the connections between their discipline and theological insight. In fact, most won’t, but everyone—no matter what their academic field—should be free to do so, and that freedom should be enshrined in the policies of every religiously affiliated university.

The full article is freely available in PDF format.

 

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