• John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

Christian Scholars and the Public University: A Promising Conference

Our friends over at Cardus are working with other fine institutions to present what looks to be an extraordinary conference this autumn. “Christian Faith and the University: From the Reformation to W. Stanford Reid” commemorates (you might guess) the career of Canadian historian Stanford Reid, professor at Guelph University, who had an unusually successful career as an unapologetical Christian in an ideologically fraught environment.

The conference, however, is not centrally about Reid, but about the general question of the place of Christianity in public universities—at least, those in the English-speaking world and similar societies. Luminaries such as McGill ethicist Margaret Somerville and Notre Dame historian Mark Noll headline the conference—yes, while the conference says it is focused on Protestantism, its two major stars are a Roman Catholic and an evangelical who teaches at a Roman Catholic school. But the schedule is full of excellent scholars, from quite new to impressively experienced, probing an array of issues of wide geographical, chronological, and disciplinary scope.

This is a rare occasion for academicians to engage in a rich, intense conversation about negotiating the exciting, dangerous space between Christ and (university) culture. I have greatly profited from such conferences in the past, so I wish the conference great success and I hope you’ll consider attending if the theme connects with you.

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