Religious Studies and Academic Freedom

People interested in religious studies should know about an alleged violation of academic freedom at Roosevelt University. In a case that is almost too incredible to believe, an adjunct professor there has been fired for allowing student discussion of Judaism and Islam. In a religion course!

First is this statement by the professor, which was posted at Daily Kos.

Next you may want to read his union's statement of the grievance (scroll down to the section titled "More Details on Academic Freedom Grievance".)

Finally, you may wish to visit the Yahoo group on academic freedom.

By all accounts I have read, the classroom discussion and the exam question were reasonable and appropriate for a university class. But apparently the chair of the department, a historian with little or no experience teaching a course in religion, disagreed. If ever there were a case for the AAUP, this would seem to be it! It can be difficult to balance scholarly inquiry with personal faith. Indeed, the AAUP itself has had several disagreements with religiously-affiliated institutions over the question of balancing institutional goals with faculty and students' personal exploration. But I have never heard of a case quite as astonishing as this one.

1 comment:

RTC said...

That is disturbing. Thanks for posting about this...