Monday, August 06, 2007

Religion as an Entree to the Arts?

The state of the humanities in the US can be measured by present achievement: would anyone seriously argue that the fine arts or even popular culture is enjoying a period of high originality and creativity? American genius currently resides in technology and design. The younger generation, with its mastery of video games and its facility for ever-evolving gadgetry like video cell phones and iPods, has massively shifted to the Web for information and entertainment.

I would argue that the route to a renaissance of the American fine arts lies through religion. Let me make my premises clear: I am a professed atheist and a pro-choice libertarian Democrat. But based on my college experiences in the 1960s, when interest in Hinduism and Buddhism was intense, I have been calling for nearly two decades for massive educational reform that would put the study of comparative religion at the center of the university curriculum.

Above is excerpted from a fascinating article that puts religion at the center of a liberal arts education - a suggestion that is significantly un-typicial in today's heavily secularized education environment. It is worth reading in its entirety. (Thanks to blogger Jon for pointing this out to me.)

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