Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The universities as bastions of barbarism

There's no question that reform of the universities must be high on the list for Western cultural renewal. One recent book claims that 50% of evangelicals lose their faith at university--a figure I suspect is exaggerated, but troubling.

Meanwhile, students at Catholic universities are coming out less committed to Catholic values than when they entered.


At Thursday, 12 May, 2005, Blogger LRFD said...

Fifty percent seems low, and I say this after five years at a state university. Around the heart of my campus stand two dozen or so churches ranging from Baptist to Anglican to Catholic to Unaffliated.

Two things stand out about them. First their archetecture suggests that these buildings were constructed sometime prior to the 1970's. Steple's and fax-Greek columns abound. Personally I enjoy this style a whole lot more than the drab concrete modernist churches - such as the one I attend. Secondly, if you attend any of these churches, it's rare for them to fill up. At a night Mass at the central Catholic Church, I noticed maybe two-thirds of the pews were filled. I've had similar experiences at the Baptist Church where the seating was considerably less.

What this suggests is that the churches built to hold 1950's, 1960's numbers have not felt the need to expand despite a jump in attendence despite a doubling or tripling of students. I don't know the causes, but if anything those numbers seem low.

More depressing is that I don't see the will within the general population to reform the university system. Without the influx of graduates into their fold, the hardcore left would very quickly shrival into the small pre-1960's forces. The hardcore capitalists on the right will also resist because an improvement in the liberal arts colleges will compete with the engineering, sciences, and business schools for those desiring intellectual rigor. The rabbit hole is of course deeper than my simple comparison, but if the Catholics lack the desire to see their own teachings maintained at their own institutions (and I've heard some hair-raisers on that), the status quo will certainly be maintained elsewhere.


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