Traditions of Scholarship that Shape the Foundations of Education and the Nature of the University

Neil J Flinders


This critical essay examines three traditions of scholarship and considers their impact on the foundations of education and the nature of the University. The author’s conclusion is that the evolution of scholarship has formed the foundations for three different patterns of education. One pattern is characterized by science. It is reason based, research centered, and politically flavored. A second pattern emerges from the humanities. It is tradition based, rhetoric centered, and philosophically flavored. The third pattern includes but extends beyond the physical and humanistic. It is faith based, scripture centered, and research flavored. Rather than emphasizing philosophy mingled with scripture, the third approach to scholarly work stresses the utilization of divine revelation mingled with research. It stresses the role of inspiration, the limitations of disputational education, and describes the scholar as primarily a witness. This pattern holds that the finite should not circumscribe or dictate to the infinite.

Examining in full detail the complexities of scholarship would require volumes of information across many disciplines. For the sake of brevity and convenience to a general reader this review of the topic has been reduced to a single essay. Hopefully, it will be of some value to the interested and careful reader. It is worthy of note to mention that professional literature is largely devoid of serious evaluations and comparisons of the scholarly process. Much is made of scholarly terminology in institutions of higher learning, but there is little or no direct, ongoing, serious critique and comparison of the various “scholarly” traditions. Quite to the contrary, scholars in the respective disciplines simply lock into the “expectations” and “rules” that dominate in their particular fields of study. Although the words: scholar, scholarly, and scholarship are familiar, what they represent is much more vague and mercurial. These terms are often used to convey elements of authority and quite frequently prestige or class distinction. In reality they do impact our practical and daily lives in some very important ways.

The highlight of this essay is its focus on the challenges that face the academic intellect— including those in the Latter-day Saint community. Forces are present in these competing scholarly traditions that push and pull the human soul between starkly divergent oppositions. For example, one entrenched view of scholarship places the process above and beyond the person. This premise was clearly expressed by the prominent psychologist B. F. Skinner: “There is no place in the scientific position for a self as a true originator or initiator of action.” 1 In contrast, we have Michael Polanyi’s traditionally less popular contention that “The personal participation of the knower in the knowledge he believes himself to possess takes place in a flow of passion.” 2 In other words, what one knows is always an extension of what one is. Transcending both of these views is the ancient supposition that places the human search for understanding subservient to divine assistance. From this perspective, the search for truth is and ought to be acknowledged as a partnership. Prophets in the sacred society consistently maintain this position: True knowledge comes from God. Joseph Fielding Smith put it bluntly:

The Lord gave inspiration to Edison, to Franklin, to Morse, to Whitney and to all of the inventors and discoverers, and through their inspiration they obtained the necessary knowledge and were able to manufacture and invent as they have done for the benefit of the world. Without the help of the Lord they would have been just as helpless as the people were in other ages. 3

The currents that drive contemporary scholarly activities are many and varied. Ironically, they are seldom evaluated, despite the significant control they wield over a seemingly unwitting intellectual community. Perhaps Ortega y Gasset’s observation has merit: We may not know what is happening to us and this could be precisely what is happening to us. Could it be that academia is “walking in darkness at noonday;” 4 and that “we stumble at noonday as in the night?” 5 At the very minimum, this personal review of the nature and function of the scholarly traditions has pushed me to confront the sobering fact that pessimism is inevitable when I limit myself to an ideology circumscribed by and limited to the secular and the physical. If nothing else has come from this study, it has caused me to recognize in a professional way that optimism by definition requires that I at least consciously consider the eternal and the spiritual. To do otherwise would be naive or intentional self deception.

The central theme of this essay focuses on five critical questions regarding the nature of scholarship:

  1. Is the scholar a pawn, a player or a free agent?
  2. Should the paradigm for modern scholarship be redefined?
  3. Has secularization contaminated the scholarly atmosphere?
  4. Where should loyalty (allegiance) in scholarship be rooted—in hubris or humility?
  5. How do answers to these questions influence the nature of education and the purpose of schooling?

(Major portions of this essay were delivered in their original form as presentations to the Far Western Philosophy of Education Society and first appeared in the Proceedings of that organization (1991-92-93). They are referenced in ERIC—Educational Resource Information Center, along with other articles by the author. [see–search by author’s name.] A summary segment of these three paperspapers on scholarship also appeared as a guest editorial in the Journal of Research on Christian Education, Fall issue 1993).

Part I:

The Scholar: A Pawn, a Player, or a Free Agent?


Scholarship is a term now applied to various functions, among them investigative, confirmatory, integrative, and creative. The relative value of these and other associated functions in the current system differs from place to place. Consequently, the word scholarship has no consensual definition across disciplines; its meaning is generally determined by the context in which it is used. I will try to clarify my uses of the term as I apply it in the context of this essay.

Notwithstanding the numerous applications, all scholarship ultimately derives from two fundamental sources of knowledge: human and divine. All scholarship based on human knowledge can be reduced to questions that are answered by guesses. The frontier in this domain is always bordered by questions, answers are ultimately encounter guesses. This is true in every discipline. All scholarship based on divine knowledge can be reduced to questions that are answered by faith— pursuing “the substance of things hoped for” by utilizing “the evidence of things not seen.” 6 It is written, “The just shall live by faith.” 7 At bottom line it is a matter of accepting or rejecting revealed answers. We can be agents of divine as well as our own intelligence. There are “precepts of God” and “precepts of men.” It does make a difference which precepts we are taught by and which precepts we teach. 8

Scholarship is important and always has been. Much of what we enjoy or otherwise experience is the fruit of some form of scholarship. Because humans have the capacity to reason and the freedom of agency, the quest for comfort and action is continuous–both by study and by faith. The activity associated with scholarship is vital to the human family. But this activity involves a process that requires continuous maintenance, no neglect. I believe, however, that modern society is guilty of that neglect–both laymen and professionals. We have been content to be immersed in a scholarly tradition that is largely unexamined by most of those who are employees in its service or recipients of its benefits. Most participants in modern scholarship are pawns, some are players, and a few are conscious agents. Because I use these terms purposefully, definitions are in order.

pawn is a person or entity of limited status, used to further the purposes of those with greater status. A player is a participant in a process or event who uses skills, awareness, and cleverness to gain advantage in a particular context (usually a contest). An agent is one who has the perception, power, and disposition to act responsibly, but independently. Pawns are people who unwittingly serve the ends of those in higher orders of power. Players are sophisticated participants who knowingly participate in some system that often demands that they bracket personal values in order to receive the rewards offered by those who make the rules and govern the activity. Agents are personalities of moral and intellectual courage. They possess and display “the courage to affirm principles, beliefs, and faith that may not always be considered as harmonizing with such knowledge–scientific or otherwise–as . . .[their] educational colleagues may believe they possess.” 9 But even agents can be subject to deception. The issue of integrity remains at every level.

Scholarship as a pursuit can be fickle, and it is frequently characterized by infatuation. “There are fads and trends in classical scholarship as in other human endeavors,” writes Zeph Stewart, “and our studies are no more immune than others to broader changes in society and in the intellectual climate.” 10 Just as stable and mature love may develop out of infatuation, meaningful scholarly contributions may emerge from fads and trendy interests. It is vital, however, that love and infatuation not be confused; too often they are. Perhaps never before this century has the vulnerability of so-called scholarly work been so manifest. Who and what to believe is a paramount concern. The character and moral viability of scholarship is inextricably linked to the personalities, practices, and commitments of those who create it.

Since mid-century, most western scholars have followed the wake of political funding like seagulls behind a fishing boat–seeking every scrap, every entrail, under the most tedious controls and amidst strange, ephemeral topics and content. Directly or indirectly, the entire scholarly enterprise of modern society has been shaped and directed more by the fashionable materialistic interests of those in control of funding than by the spiritual vision and moral character that communicate and sustain the basics of solidarity.

The consequences have often been less than positive. In the broadest sense scholarship has become, in too many instances, the [willing] victim of bureaucracy. For example, one writer describes how American anthropology during the early decades of the twentieth century was “a small field dominated by personal and collegial relationships.” This soft and pliable system was “increasingly bureaucratized as it expanded in size. Students are thus implicitly socialized into ‘organization man’ values subversive of academic values.” 11 This description is a common pattern. Led by the hard sciences of earlier decades, which immersed themselves in wartime projects, the social sciences and later the humanities willingly followed the postwar beaten path to the troughs of public and a few private sources of special interest funding. The controls over scholarly energies imposed by these entities can only be described by the word ominous.

Ultimately, the centralized sources of financial support for scholarly research changed the nature of scholarship. “For decades the U. S. government poured billions of dollars into our universities to support a wide array of basic and applied research.” 12 One of the most negative results of this arrangement has been an increasing amount of personal, professional, and institutional corruption. 13 Another debilitating outcome has been the decline in the status and quality of teaching compared to researching in most of our universities. There were also positives. But the impressive temporal advances that have been generated by the expenditure of these massive amounts of resource have not, on balance, compensated for the decline manifest in the moral and spiritual side effects. The gains from research do not compensate for the loss of instruction in moral and spiritual growth.

The demise of quality teaching has spawned widespread discussion in professional circles. A key document in this discourse is Ernest Boyer’s Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, a publication of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This document argues for an expanded definition of faculty scholarship to include four components: (1) discovery of new knowledge, (2) integration of knowledge, (3) application of knowledge, and (4) teaching. Although Boyer’s expanded definition is a positive move, the focus of his discussion, as manifest in numerous conferences, has centered on what constitutes scholarly productivity for the purposes of rank advancementThis view misses the primary mark. We need more than a discussion of the relationship of scholarship to rank advancement; we need to look at scholarship per se in a more expansive way. Nevertheless, the window for discussion has been pushed open, and new sounds from within the academy can be heard. 14

The view from this window reveals a pressing need to broaden the definition of scholarship; a need that is recognized in many disciplines. But to redefine scholarship raises the question of what scholarship actually is. Ironically, the word scholarship does not even merit a heading in the International Encyclopedia of Education (1985). The question of the meaning and application of scholarship needs to be raised at a sufficiently fundamental level to challenge the context that now protectively shelters the scholarly process in every field. This essay calls for a discussion that will review the most fundamental issues. Current efforts to revise the definition of scholarship are themselves too narrow and restrictive. They hack at branches when it is the root structure that needs to be examined. The contextual issue deserves more attention than it now receives.

A Serious Examination of Scholarship is an Examination of the Foundations of the University and the Schooling it Spawns.

Any serious investigation of scholarship must go beyond concerns about rank advancement; it should question the very foundation of the University as it is now perceived, protected and promoted. Circumstances strongly suggest that what we now call the University may very well be wholly inadequate to safely sustain the intellectual endowment of humanity through the coming millennium. We live in a moral vacuum that modernism has tried to fill with rationalism alone. And rationalism is substantially failing in the moral domain. Immanuel Kant’s proposal that the “categorical imperative” was a satisfactory substitute for faith in and obedience to God’s moral law is not proving to be a satisfactory solution. As Charles Colson testified, he meticulously lived by this Kantian proposition, and “[Look] what happened [to me], I went to prison.” 15

Any critique of the university must begin, it seems, with an open discussion of its primary if not its only claim, to legitimacy–scholarship. Furthermore, any legitimate definition of scholarship must not avoid the issue that reality involves more than physical matter. At present, it can be argued, the entire enterprise of scholarship in western culture is imprisoned in a materialistic paradigm that ignores, denies, and seeks to avoid the implications of a higher order of intelligence. This paradigm now holds in thrall the functions of the university. It seems paradoxical that America, a nation whose tradition and highest Court has acknowledged Jesus Christ to be the God of the land, whose citizenry by a large majority (one study reports 85%) identify with a Christian denomination, who consistently declare to pollsters a belief in God and a life hereafter, whose founding documents and state constitutions acknowledge a transcendent power, would succumb to a scholarly paradigm that is devoid of such assumptions.

The modern view of scholarship falls far short of the inclusionary perspective held by Spencer W. Kimball, who noted: “Secular knowledge, important as it may be, can never save a soul, . . . nor create a world, . . . but it can be most helpful to that man . . . who can now bring into play all knowledge to be his tool and servant.” 16

The question of how scholarship should be defined has particular significance for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others who choose to believe in a supernatural as well as a natural domain of existence. The central issue, of course, has to do with God and his role in the scholarly process. The conflict and the responses to the conflict on this issue are as old as our records. The Hebrew prophet Moses reviewed the issue with his people in the context of their covenant and the ordinances associated with that covenant. His rationale is simple but compelling.

In brief, the account of Moses ascribes the origin of mankind to a divine source of power. The principal characters in the narrative are Adam and Eve, who represent the origin of the human race. They lived at first in a garden prepared for them in a place named Eden. Disobedience to the instructions of their Heavenly Parentage resulted in expulsion from the garden. A heavenly messenger was sent to Adam and Eve to offer a solution to the problem they faced: a Savior who had the power to deliver them from the deaths they imposed upon themselves by their disobedience. An atonement was wrought for them by this Savior. He was the means by which they could be spared the negative consequences of their disobedience. Adam and Eve were to accept this gift of atonement and to teach all their children to do likewise, because they too were in jeopardy. The parents did teach the children; some accepted, some did not.

Moses explains that those who rejected the atonement and substituted some other belief system in place of this divine solution became subject to a perspective marked by three characteristics: “And men began from that time forth to become carnal, sensual and devilish.” 17 Here Moses poses the consequences of the human predicament [the Fall] and implies the philosophical disposition of those who reject the solution to that predicament [the Atonement]. The metaphysical response is to define reality in terms of the physical (carnal), the epistimological response is to limit knowledge to what could be garnered through the physical senses (sensual), and the axiological consequence was to be at variance with God and his instruction (devilish). This secular stance produces policies that create curriculum devoid of any reference to God, the moral law (Ten Commandments), or Jesus Christ. 18

Moses includes abundant evidence to support his assertions such as the story of Cain and Abel. He also recounts God’s assignment to Enoch to reclaim those who rejected the divine paradigm and substituted an alternative in its place: “Enoch, my son, . . . [say] unto this people . . . repent . . . for these many generations, ever since the day I created them, have they gone astray, and denied me, and have sought their own counsels in the dark.” Moses explains that they “rejected the greater counsel which was had from God” and substituted their own philosophies in the place thereof. 19 It is these philosophies that have influenced the currents of human affairs and been mingled with scriptures. In place of the initial order and unity, diversity and apostasy were inserted. The Judeo-Christian tradition of western culture is a derivative of this Hebrew heritage of conflict.

From the beginning, the counterargument has always been the same. Korihor, an ancient antagonist, expressed it clearly. Like many, he rejected the divine paradigm and substituted another in its place. When asked, “Believest thou there is a God?” he responded, “Nay,” asking what role “some unknown being” could possibly have, who some “say is God–a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be?” 20 Belief in God and in an individual’s access to his higher order of intelligence has long been suspect by many of those who are learned and who prefer to learn and to teach “by the precepts of men” rather than the precepts of God. 21

When the overt or covert definition of a scholarly enterprise requires ignoring or denying divine intelligence, that definition must be qualitatively different from a definition which accepts such intelligence. As Nephi foresaw, the foundation of the scholarly community in our day is “Hearken unto us, and hear our precept; for behold there is no God today.” 22 It is easy to be pacified and lulled into carnal security. 23 As Korihor realized, humans are enticed by the notion that “every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.” After all, “when a man was dead, that was the end thereof.” 24

One might easily conclude that to acknowledge the divine is “a foolish and a vain hope.” Acknowledging a living God appears to be unacceptable in this century because those who control the scholarly community, and those who conform to those who control it, ignore or despise “these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers.” Like Korihor, they ask how anyone can know of their surety. “Behold, ye cannot know of things which ye do not see.”<ref>Alma 30:14–15.</ref> This mood has permeated modern scholarly circles, and its presence is clearly felt in the various journals and editorial policies. It prevails in textbooks, curricular materials, and in most classrooms in public and higher education. It dominates the academic mindset of modern society. And the agnostic aura is largely tolerated in deferential silence by those in the scholarly community who in other settings staunchly maintain they believe otherwise. Why so?

John Taylor understood this human frailty and commented on its painful consequences:

One great reason why men have stumbled so frequently in many of their researches after philosophical truth is that they have sought them with their own wisdom, and gloried in their own intelligence, and have not sought unto God for that wisdom that fills and governs the universe and regulates all things. That is one great difficulty with the philosophers of the world, as it now exists, that man claims to himself to be the inventor of everything he discovers. Any new law and principle which he happens to discover he claims to himself instead of giving glory to God. 25

 Joseph F. Smith expressed the same concern in these words:

The world says, “we have done it.” The individual says, “I have done it,” and he gives no honor or credit to God. . . . Because of this, God is not pleased with the inhabitants of the earth but is angry with them because they will not acknowledge his hand in all things. 26

 In modern scholarship it is normative to dissociate one’s scholarly work from any divine assistance that may have occurred. Theodore Roszak describes this distinction in his article “The Monster and the Titan: Science, Knowledge, and Gnosis.” 27 He begins by noting how those in the modern scholarly traditions have tried to depersonalize their scholarly reports:

Nothing in modern science would have appalled Plato more than the way in which a professional scientific paper seeks, in the name of objectivity, to depersonalize itself to the point of leaving out all reference to that “experience of excellence”–that fleeting glimpse of the higher Good. 28

Roszak calls specific attention to the long-standing posture of denial exhibited by those who know they have received divine assistance. He cites, among others, the example of Descartes:

What was it . . . that inspired Descartes to regard mathematics as the new key to nature? An “angel of truth” who appeared to him in a series of numinous dreams on three successive nights. But in his writing he never once mentions the epistemological status of dreams or visionary experience. Instead, he turns his back on all that is not strict logic, opting for a philosophy of knowledge wholly subordinated to geometric precision. Yet that philosophy purchases its apparent simplicity by an appalling brutalization of the very existential subtleties and psychic complexities that are the living substance of Descartes’ own autobiography. 29

 How many of those associated with modern “scholarship” would find themselves in league with Descartes in distorting the records of scholarship’s true ancestry? Perhaps it is time scholarly circles openly encourage the recognition, at least by those who desire to do so, that John Locke gave to the foundation of education. He observed that the works of nature are the product of a wisdom that so far surpasses human faculties to discover or conceive that Natural Philosophy–the knowledge of principles, properties and operations of things as they are in themselves–can never be fully reduced to a science.

He certainly did not discourage the search into nature, which he called “other bodies.” But he said that a spiritual context was requisite to the study of nature. He was of the opinion that our clearest and largest discoveries are “imparted to us from heaven by revelation” and that this revelation is “a good preparation to the study of bodies [nature]. For without the notion and allowance of spirit, our philosophy will be lame and defective in one main part of it, when it leaves out the contemplation of the most excellent and powerful part of the creation.” 30 Francis Bacon shared this view. It was his feeling that scientific work should augment, not replace “God’s word” or revelation. “Let us begin from God, and show that our pursuit from its [science’s] exceeding goodness clearly proceeds from Him, the Author of good and Father of light.” 31

Amidst the current context of denial there is ample testimony from significant witnesses that inspiration from God is real and does contribute to scholarly endeavors. This spiritual contribution has been acknowledged in the humanities as well as the sciences. The composer Brahms, for example, explained that he set the stage for inspired creation by asking God the three great questions pertaining to life in this world: “whence, wherefore, [and] whither.” He said this helped him focus on a perspective that invited inspiration, “so that I can compose something that will uplift and benefit humanity—something of permanent value.” The result was that “ideas flow in upon me, directly from God, and not only do I see distinct themes in my mind’s eye, but they are clothed in the right forms, harmonies, and orchestration. Measure by measure, the finished product is revealed to me when I am in those rare, inspired moods.” 32 Admittedly, everyone does not choose to invite this type of inspiration. Beethoven confessed that he was conscious of being closer to his Creator than some other composers were: “I know that God is nearer to me than to others in my craft; I consort with Him without fear.” 33 It seems wrong for us to categorically deny the acknowledgment of this source of light and truth; but we do. Modern western culture, it seems, has almost made it a mandate to avoid referencing God as a contributor to the scholarly process. At best, the secular power structure has an estranged relationship with the spiritual; at worst there is a complete divorce.

Inspiration from Divinity, however, does not excuse one from acquiring the basic skills associated with a given field, although those skills alone may be insufficient. Richard Strauss observed, “A good composer must also be a skilled craftsman . . . but no matter how clever the workmanship, no composition will live unless it is inspired.” Without inspiration, Strauss maintained, “nothing of lasting value can be put on paper.” He recognized that Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Wagner were all inspired composers who “also had great technical skill.” 34 Yes, the most effective scholarship certainly requires perspiration as well as inspiration. Neither, alone, is sufficient.

In his own case Strauss agreed with Puccini who noted that “the great secret of all creative geniuses is that they possess that power to appropriate the beauty, the wealth, the grandeur, and the sublimity contained within their own souls, which are parts of Omnipotence.” 35 Said Strauss, “When in my most inspired moods, I have definite, compelling visions, involving a higher self-hood. I feel at such moments that I am tapping the source of Infinite and Eternal energy from which you and I and all things proceed. Religion calls it God.” 36 Mozart went so far as to declare that “no atheist has ever been or ever will be a great composer.” 37 There needs to be room for individuals, like Haydn, who declared “Never was I so devout as when composing the Creation; I knelt down every day and prayed to God to strengthen me for my work.” 38 Sincere scholars in every field should feel free to acknowledge, without censure, the inspired dimension of their scholarly creations. But how many students in schools today feel this or are taught that it is appropriate? Some contributions may be fashioned from extant knowledge, others cannot.

It is the need to legitimize and enhance this broader conception of scholarship and its subsequent import for the idea of education and university that this essay addresses. It is a search for productive unity amidst what increasingly seems to be a divisive and destructive diversity. It is unity not alienation that nurtures the greatest success in the very nature of existence—whatever the field of exploration one might be pursuing.

Unity vs. Diversity

Ultimately the quest for truth derives its strength from unity, not diversity. Recently it has become fashionable to celebrate personal and cultural diversity as an end rather than a means. Individual diversity is being cultivated at the expense of volitional unity. This may excite the intellect to the point of intoxication, but it can be a fatal indulgence for the scholarly community. The acquisition of truth is constructive insofar as it draws unity from diversity. Such benefits are manifest in all forms of construction—from writing a song to building a bridge. It was in this forge that the foundations for the American experiment were formed and tempered: E Pluribus Unum; out of many, one—even in the secular order. The opposite of a unifying, constructive order is deconstruction and its wake of chaos. ( Deconstructionism has been described as a powerful postmodern movement currently in vogue on major college campuses and among the intellectual elite. Its influence seems to permeate nearly area of our culture. This contemporary movement has been linked to tribalism, political correctness, re-imaging, multiculturalism, culture wars, and as a hammer for smashing traditional values.) Scholarship cannot remain constructive outside a context that acknowledges and encourages unity.


Part II

Scholarship:  Time for a Redefinition


Will Durant observed early in the twentieth century that human knowledge had become too vast to manage, too great for the human mind. The academy was divided between scientific specialists who knew more and more about less and less and philosophical speculators who knew less and less about more and more. This schism blurred an important distinction between philosophy and science: Science is analytical description, philosophy synthetic interpretation. Durant argued that “analysis belongs to science, and gives us knowledge; philosophy must provide a synthesis for wisdom” 39 Science, he explained, is content to describe things as they are: to be equally interested in the leg of a flea and the creativity of a genius. Philosophy, on the other hand, seeks to go beyond the facts as they can be perceived, to determine meaning and worth, to combine things into an interpretive synthesis. “Science gives us knowledge, but only philosophy can give us wisdom.” 40 Certainly, Durant sensed a problem.

As the 20th century concludes and the new century begins , I believe Durant’s argument can be extended to explain much of the enigma in today’s education. His discontent, however, only focuses on part of the problem. He is considering only one of three traditions of scholarship common to Western culture: the philosophic- scientific tradition. He does not acknowledge either the oratorical or the faithful scholarly traditions in this analysis. Hence, two important legs of the schooling stool have been removed, leaving the intellectual community to sway amidst the winds of change. Decades of increasingly critical literature have provided ample evidence of a dizzying distortion of perspective. Never have we written more and agreed upon less. One way to help correct our imbalance is to broaden our perspective, to include these additional aspects of what we know, understand and believe —the oratorical and the faithful. To accomplish this inclusion will require a broader concept and definition of scholarship.

The thesis of Part II of this essay is that modern academe has adopted and sustained a destructively narrow and often obscure definition of scholarship. I believe the clear and balanced approach necessary for a constructive rather than destructive dialogue is presently lacking. Moreover, current scholarly tradition avoids critical self-evaluation: A review of the literature reveals that modern scholarship has produced critical histories of everything in sight—everything, that is, except a critical study of itself. Although journal articles appear from time to time that touch on some aspects of scholarship, they seldom if ever cause the reader to step back and question the foundations. There is little attention given in college courses to a critical review of scholarly assumptions and essentially nothing in the curriculum of the public schools.

Contemporary education, I believe, is precariously unbalanced because of this myopic view. Modern academia suffers from visual cataracts that reduce the light and obstruct the view of the scholarly voyage. C.S. Lewis used the word in another sense: he spoke of “the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and microphone of one’s own age.” 41 I believe a major treatment for this condition would be to build a dam and then channel the flow of his view of the cataract by consciously redefining scholarship to encourage rather than disparage philosophical synthesis in our scientific work and to legitimize both the oratorical and faithful traditions of scholarly work. The timing for such an effort I believe is appropriate. An unsettling has occurred regarding fundamental questions in the philosophy of various disciplines. An open debate flourishes over modernist and postmodernist philosophy in a number of settings. There is an apparent spirit of search and limited efforts toward reconciliation regarding new answers to old questions. 42

To improve the current perception of scholarship, I believe we must reestablish the tripartite check and balance system that comes with an acceptance of all three scholarly traditions. This check and balance system is as vital to the health and welfare of academia as our government’s check and balance system is to the U. S. republic. The alternative in the school, as in the government, is to succumb to special interest groups and drift toward some form of bureaucratic paralysis or rebellious tyranny. Is this unprofitable squabble really necessary? I do not believe it is. It moves us in counterproductive directions.

Three Scholarly Traditions

It has been said that the content of all the books ever written on philosophy can be categorized under three headings: God, humankind, and nature. Our heritage clearly values all three of these components, and scholarship may be described as the means of comprehending messages (of understanding the relationships)–between God and people, between one person and another, and between people and nature.

This essay suggests the necessity of establishing a pattern of scholarship that (a) encompasses all three of the relationships and (b) that functions as a means to an end, not an end in itself. Scholarship is a tool used to search for the message (truth); it is the message, not the tool, that has primary value. With the variations in messages, the tool must be flexible and subject to modification. When the focus on the tool (scholarship) eclipses the message (truth), that tool becomes a liability rather than an asset.

Three traditions of scholarship have been significant in the formation of Western culture. The first tradition, faithful scholarship, rooted in our Hebrew heritage, places a central emphasis on the human relationship to God. This approach presupposes that God reveals general truths to those whoseek them. These truths become assumptions that direct and sustain scholarly effort in all areas.

Transcendent testimonial evidence blends with reason and sensate experience. For example, the Pentateuch, attributed to Moses, 43implicitly accepts an order of reality composed of spirit and matter that transcends temporal mortality. Human beings, earth, and time are significant shadows of God, heaven, and eternity. Jewish scholarship speaks of the vertical in contrast to the horizontal ; modern vernacular uses supernatural and natural to indicate this distinction. The premise is that we should presume a spiritual as well as a physical domain and the scholarly process ought to reflect and honor this supposition.

A second form of scholarship emerged as seekers endeavored to find knowledge by combining the oral and written accounts of human experience. This oratorical or rhetorical tradition, which comes to Western thought by way of ancient Greece, focuses primarily on relationships between and among human beings. As the Greeks worked to purify, preserve and transmit the message of thepoets of antiquity, they sought to discover, participate in and vicariously share the human expression of experience. Hence this tradition focuses on the search for truth through the expressed wisdom of our human ancestry. The objects for this scholarship are found in language, art, and music. Essentially a naturalistic (horizontal) approach, this rhetorical tradition may be exercised independent of transcendent (vertical) influences such as those common to the Hebrews.

A third approach to scholarship developed from efforts to understand and communicate the human relationship to nature . Western culture attributes this outlook to Greece, specifically toAnaximander, Anaxamenes, and Aristotle. This scientific or philosophical tradition focuses on the “reality” of the natural world, external to the human mind. As with the oratorical tradition, this approach may be but does not have to be applied independent of the supernatural, presuming scholarship to be a conceptual design, a tool for discovery, separate from and above the message it seeks to reveal. Seemingly, it was this perspective that fueled the enlightenments—both ancient and modern.

Scholarship Defined

This essay calls for a definition of scholarship that focuses on illuminating the message— between (a) God and people, (b) between one person and another, and (c) between people and nature. In this view, scholarship is intended to function as a tool in search of that message; it is subordinate, not superior, to the truth that it finds. Scholarship is the search; message is the discovery, knowledge, or realization that comes from the search.

This view of scholarship develops from the premise that the most comprehensive understanding of reality recognizes interrelated natural and supernatural worlds. When we reject this “dualistic metaphysics” and claim the physical domain as the only reality, we deny a significant dimension of possibility and diminish and change the nature of the search and the discovery. This appears to be the current state of affairs in modern academia.

Exclusionary, rather than inclusive, definitions of scholarship deny the purported connection between scholarship and truth; truth becomes only that truth which the limited definition permits. This can hardly be considered an open search. The restrictive definition of scholarship now popular in many circles makes the method and the paradigm it serves more important than the message they are intended to discover. Any definition of scholarship that divides subjectivity from objectivity and then excludes one or the other is faulty—if one really wants to know the truth. To successfully share in a full search and in the discovery it requires both integrity and trust among those who constitute the scholarly community. At present this context appears to be seriously flawed.

Recognizing the Limitations of Scholarly Traditions

Claims of “purity” in applied scholarship are unrealistic, for they depend on subjective compliance to what are, after all, symbolic cues to what represents the “best effort” but cannot be objectively established. Scholarly activity, whether on the mountain (as the prophets), at the library (as the orators), or in the laboratory (as the scientists), cannot be adequately described in the parameters of a “scholarly report”; the recipient must judge or accept the judgment of someone else judgment—”on faith.” Integrity and trust are indispensable.

Some aspects of the scholarly search are inevitably (at times intentionally) left out of the report; others are assumed to be present because an overt symbol suggests that certain things occurred. A log or journal of scientific laboratory procedures, for instance, does not ensure every quality associated with those procedures. Michael Polanyi makes this point clear in his discussion of tacit functions in the domain of science. 44  Within the oratorical tradition, reports by philologists are similarly affected: Mental constructs shaped by subjectively based world-views necessarily influence interpretive reports but are not mentioned explicitly; thus a linguistic theory common to a scholar’s field may guide interpretation without being acknowledged or defined. Likewise, in the faithful tradition, what is recorded and then proclaimed can be circumscribed by limitations: proficiency in writing, prohibitions by Divinity, and peculiarities of the culture to which the word is given. Who knows all that Moses experienced on Mt. Sinai?

All three scholarly traditions are fragile because each of them must pass through human limitations to deliver its message. Perhaps some messages and some processes should not and others cannot be reduced to reportable language. Another limitation occurs when those who are comfortablewithin one tradition may find procedures and evidence compelling which fail to impress those outside the discipline. Consequently, wisdom would dictate that true scholarship should tend more toward humility than to certainty or pride. Scholarly traditions, like any human traditions, can be manifest only through an individual personality; they have no life of their own and are therefore subject to the limitations of personality. This causes me to conclude that scholarship should be used, but not abused—or used to abuse others. Scholarship is to be valued, but not worshiped.

Perhaps the use of scholarship as an instrument of “power” rather than service is the most serious limitation. Confusion becomes inevitable when methods of scholarship are captured and circumscribed by special interest groups. Guilds that commandeer some form of scholarship and then function like religious orders have created some of the greatest distortions in humanity’s search for happiness. But this topic deserves its own treatment (see Part III).

The Oratorical Tradition

Joseph L. Featherstone offers the following explication and critique of the scholarly tradition which focuses on poetry, rhetoric, and oratory:

The tradition of the orators . . . emphasizes the public expression of what is known, the crucial importance of language texts and tradition—linking to and building up a community of learning and knowledge. This is the line of Isocrates, Cicero, Isidore, the artes liberales of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance humanists, the vision of Matthew Arnold, of some teachers of the liberal arts today, especially humanities teachers, and, of course, of many religious colleges. The glory of the orator’s line is its links with the texts of the past and its focus on re-creating learning communities as the central business of education; its problem, as in educational philosophy, is its dogmatic and anti-intellectual idolatry of the past and its frequent assumption that virtue resides in the texts, not in what we the living make of them. 45

Rudolf Pfeiffer 46  emphasizes the significance of the language application within a historical context among the Greeks, pointing out that oratorical scholarship was originally the product of critical concerns with poetry. Texts were scrutinized for accuracy; allegories and hidden messages were systematically identified and described. 47

But the strictly linguistic analysis could not hold its own against the onslaught of the “scientific” dimension of proclaimed by Archimedes, Eratosthenes, Aristophenes and others. In the middle of the third century B.C., these two viewpoints began to merge, and the oratorical tradition expanded to include aspects of the culture beyond language.

This change in perception is reflected, for example, in the work of Eratosthenes, reportedly a man of varied interests and numerous accomplishments in many fields—a type of renaissance personality. He wrote on Old Comedy, but also on chronology and geography, and on mathematics and astronomy as well. Pfeiffer states that he “fully deserves to be honoured as the founder of critical chronology in antiquity.” 48 When he applied his scientific- rationalistic perspective and refused to accept Homer as a historian or as a geographer, he stepped hard on the toes of the oratorical tradition of scholarship. He stepped even harder when he generalized the position to poetry overall, 49  proclaiming that poetry should be entertainment, not instruction. The poets of the day did not like this intrusion of “science” into their oratorical perspective. Eratosthenes became the target of clever mockery; but the influence of his new perspective survived. (Findings of modern archeology, such as the rediscovery of Troy, have vindicated Homer and played havoc with 2000 years of scholarly analysis—nevertheless, Eratosthenes had already made his point, notes Pfeiffer.)

Eratosthenes’ criticisms were absorbed in the division between “scholarship” and “poetry” previously introduced in the work of Aristophenes, who, Pfeiffer says, “was neither a scientist nor a poet; he was a perfect scholar.” 50  An expert in texts, language, literary criticism, and antiquities, he is credited with establishing the scholarly process characteristic of the rhetorical tradition, stressing creative concentration on textual and literary criticism, bowing to science for its role in strengthening critical considerations. He set a standard for identifying, purifying and validating ancient texts, in order that the messages of the past would be preserved, polished, and presented with appropriate scholarly commentary by the caretakers of the literature—the scholars. Thus the foundation was laid for Rhetoric among the Greeks and Oration among the Romans. A scholarly tradition was born that was to sail from antiquity into the modern world, where it is now generally harbored in what we call the humanities.

Although the composition of the rules has varied, this tradition has remained fairly constant. Occasional brushes with the philosophic (scientific) tradition have shifted emphasis toward discovery over preservation and caused a little friction over methodology—and perhaps, as in Eratosthenes’ time, a little cross-pollination. The New Haven Scholars of the nineteenth century illustrate some of this brushing effect. Having studied in Germany where the impact of nineteenth century positivism and rapid developments in the physical sciences were introducing a new rigor into classical scholarship, the New Haven Scholars hoped to bring this stance from Europe to America and use it to save Christianity from naturalistic modernism. Their position is represented by Noah Porter, whose work demanded “exact observation, precise definition, fixed terminology, classified arrangement, and rational explanation.” They emphasized the scholar as a member of a discipline and of a community of scholars, with historical facts and stylistic rules as canons, although those facts were facts that could be discerned by “the soul.” 51

This attempt to elevate the structure of oratorical scholarship as independent of and perhaps more significant than its content was rejected by individuals like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Porter’s contemporary. Emerson felt the most fruitful path to the truth about human beings should be a careful, honest, and intuitive scrutiny of life itself. To Emerson, arranging facts according to an argument format for the sake of disputation was not true scholarship and could only lead to “appearances,” not to significant insights about life. In his 1837 Harvard Phi Beta Kappa address, “The American Scholar,” Emerson explained that the true scholar’s methodology will reveal “in the secrets of his own mind” those truths which are in “the secrets of all minds,” and that this need not take place in the confines of a college. 52  He revolted against the elitist notion that an externally observable methodology embraced by a select school of adherents should rule over and be perceived as the only reliable way to discover what is true or most valuable.

The subsets of the oratorical tradition represented by the New Haven Scholars and by Emerson illustrate the range of difference within this tradition, even within the same time period. They also illustrate the dilemma of the modern rhetorical scholar: Many universities today would have little criticism of Noah Porter’s rigorous requirements for a scholar, but what form of academic arrogance would dare deny that title to Ralph Waldo Emerson? 53Thus the contests within as well as between the scholarly traditions continue. These conflicts seem to wage primarily within the confines of academia, well beyond the concerns of the ordinary people on the street.

The Philosophic or Scientific Tradition

While the oratorical tradition seeks “truth” in the writings of the past and desires to share these with the present, the philosophic or scientific tradition seeks truth by linking the telescopes and microscopes of the past and present. Featherstone notes that the orators “see rightly, that all teaching is at some level a moral enterprise,” but that scientists and philosophers “are uncertain about this.” He continues the comparison: “When the philosophers ask, soaring like predatory hawks, ‘what is virtue?’ the orators tend to point blindly to tradition.” 54 This does not impress scientists and philosophers—they delight in preying upon tradition; it is one of their standards of progress.

Attempts have been made by individuals like Alexander Meikeljohn and Robert Hutchins to use “the orators’ curriculum to promote the philosophers’ goals,” which Featherstone calls having “married a classics curriculum to the aim of developing the critical intellect.”  55Mortimer Adler’s Paideia Proposal (1982) and the recent curricular guide for high schools proposed by the National Office of Education (1988) are further examples of this trend. Peter Shaw calls this “the undermining of the humanities” by modernists who quote classical material while disavowing its traditional form and intent, replacing it with “poststructuralism [that] divorces literature from life.” Shaw further notes that the National Endowment for the Humanities was launched to promote “such enduring values as justice, freedom, virtue, beauty and truth.” But today, he laments, academics argue over “Whose justice?” “Whose freedom?” “Whose virtue?”– The white man’s? The slave owner’s? Patriarchy’s? 56 The oratorical tradition didn’t worry about such technicalities; while technocratic politically correct minds seem obsessed by these differences. Consequently, we are currently embroiled in a very divisive battle. Today, harmony is not a common commodity in today’s University unless an administration screens its hiring of faculty to only one school of thought—which is often the case. 57

In World Views: A Study in Comparative History (1977), W. Warren Wager speaks of the interplay of the oratorical and scientific traditions in the discipline of modern history:

In the broadest terms the new movements divide into two schools: [a] the quantifiers and [b] the explorers of consciousness. The quantifiers are the heirs of Descartes and Newton; the explorers of consciousness descend from Kant and Hegel. The new historical sociology and demography belong to the first school; the new psycho-history and intellectual history belong to the second. One views humankind as a measurable social animal, the other as spirit or mind. It is the old clash in Western culture reenacted in new costumes with new possibilities of fruitful interaction or mutual invalidation.  58 Wager points out one fruitful interaction as he discusses the discipline of intellectual history:

It investigates humankind in its existential mode of being, as real men and women acting in the real world. It seeks to describe and explain events. Its goal is not to produce an abstract model of human behavior, or human nature, or society; it does not proclaim laws with predictive power; it has no license to identify the good the true or the beautiful. Even though much of its subject matter is the work of social scientists and philosophers, its methods and purposes are those of history. It seeks to know mankind existentially.  59

Although this is not the type of history taught in the history departments of most modern universities, which are dominated by a purer form of the scientific tradition, its presence and its influence attest to a variety within the scientific tradition.

As intellectual history skirts the dividing line between the two traditions by coming close to the humanism of the oratorical tradition within parameters acceptable to the scientific community, other scholarly pursuits likewise come close to closing the gap. The New Haven Scholars insisted on an almost “scientific,” philological approach within the oratorical tradition; in contrast contemporary phenomenologists advocate a nearly subjective, observational, analytic approach within the scientific tradition, with an emphasis on understanding, meaning, and discovering which veers away from the explanation, prediction, and control of their more orthodox scientific compatriots.

Beneath the surface of the oratorical-scientific continuum, another pendulum in Western intellectual history continues to sway: the pendulum between supernaturalism and naturalism. Discovering, preserving and sharing the values of either or both has continuously been at the core of human action; efforts to establish or defeat one or to somehow compromise the two generate continual tension in all areas of scholarly pursuit. At various times the struggle has been labeled poetry vs. philosophy, romanticism vs. rationalism, or irrationalism vs. positivism; but none of the resulting debates has successfully committed either academe or society to a lasting perspective. For many, the debate between competing “schools” has become a greater focus than the pursuit of their original search. A great deal of time and effort is spent on fiddling with the tool while the work the tool should be accomplishing is neglected.

Because scholarship has been unable to resolve this basic metaphysical question (the reality of the supernatural), the conventional scholar is left with a basically secular, but ill defined, ambiguous position, unable to satisfactorily confront some of the most significant issues that face humanity. What is considered “scholarly” at a given point in time is a particular view that some currently prevailing power structure or highly persuasive individual or group of individuals is able to perpetuate and publicize to the satisfaction of others. This kind of selection (often socioeconomic) manages to be embraced and followed (sometimes blindly). But as John Locke observed, “Without the notion and allowance of spirit, our philosophy will be lame and defective in one main part of it, when it leaves out the contemplation of the most excellent and powerful part of the creation.”  60 The “lame and defective” element assessed by Locke has been verified and perpetuated, not lessened, with the passing of time. Very few mainstream journals publish scholarly work that presumes and seeks to account for supernatural influences.

Even those who seek and defend the supernatural find that the “accepted” scholarly stances leave them “lame and defective.” For example, the New England Scholars found the oratorical tradition consistent with their self-defined mission to defend and promote the moral imperatives of Christianity, which they felt were under attack by a modern naturalistic worldview. They brought to this challenge the academic posture and methodological rationale of their German-acquired positivism. The attempt failed, and the very methodology they borrowed eventually became the instrument of defeat (possibly an important lesson for others who would do the same—even at Brigham Young University). Scholarly traditions, once they become more than a tool, can be compulsively turf-centered and unforgiving.

Despite the sincerity and the skill of those who would attempt to rescue religion by “reason” or “empirical evidence,” perhaps neither the oratorical nor the scientific-philosophic tradition—or even a clever combination of the two—could ever contribute a safe, secure, or truly meaningful foundation; despite our inescapable attraction to the idea of message in its transcendent sense. For this reason, I believe that the conception of scholarship needs to be expanded to include the third perspective: the faithful tradition. My reason is that this tradition fosters an attitude not common to the two other traditions, but necessary to avoid the “lame and defective” result of which Locke warned, illustrated in the well-meaning but “lame and defective” attempts of the New Haven theorists. I also believe that this third tradition of scholarship has attributes in its methodology that could and should be absorbed into the previously discussed traditions because it would strengthen—not invalidate—them. Contemporary academics, however, seem hardly warm to such offers because of the prevailing paradigm to which they are accustomed, committed, and one might say “converted.”

The Revelatory, Testimonial or Faithful Scholarly Tradition

The revelatory, testimonial or faithful tradition of scholarship differs from the oratorical and scientific traditions in two fundamental areas. First, the scholar begins his search and delivers his report by overtly attributing at least some, if not all, of his premises to a divine source. Second, the primary burden of proof for validating the claims of his or her report is on its recipient, not its creator. In contrast, the oratorical and scientific traditions are essentially disputational: Discussion is carried out for the sake of ratification. The faithful tradition urges discussion for its value in clarification. The former says: “this proves”, the latter says: “I testify”. Confirmation in the faithful tradition is personal and may or may not become acceptable to a general public. Social acceptance, however, does not determine its end value or its truthfulness.

The first contrast, as previously cited, is pointed out by Theodore Roszak. He notes how those in the scientific tradition have tried to exclude personality and deity from their scholarly reports:

Nothing in modern science would have appalled Plato more than the way in which a professional scientific paper seeks, in the name of objectivity, to depersonalize itself to the point of leaving out all reference to that “experience of excellence”–that fleeting glimpse of the higher Good. . . . There is a haunting and troubling strangeness about this interval in our history. One might almost believe that perverse forces which baffle the understanding were at work beneath the surface of events turning science into something that did not square with the personalities of its creators. What was it, for example, that inspired Descartes to regard mathematics as the new key to nature? An “angel of truth” who appeared to him in a series of numinous dreams on three successive nights. But in his writing he never once mentions the epistemological status of dreams or visionary experience. Instead, he turns his back on all that is not strict logic, opting for a philosophy of knowledge wholly subordinated to geometric precision. Yet that philosophy purchases its apparent simplicity by an appalling brutalization of the very existential subtleties and psychic complexities that are the living substance of Descartes’ own autobiography. Newton, a man of stormy psychological depths, spent a major portion of his life in theological and alchemical speculations; but all this he carefully edited from his natural philosophy and his public life. . . . Arthur Koestler is not wide of the mark in calling the early scientists “sleepwalkers”–men who unwittingly led our society into a universe whose eventual godlessness they might well have rejected vehemently. 61

The validation feature of the faithful tradition is also abundant in the literature. After properly acknowledging the source of the premises, the faithful scholar presents the message as clearly and honestly as possible, clarifying where necessary. Then the hearer is left to determine for himself or herself the validity of the message. The value of the message [truth] is independent of its submission to a process of public disputation. There is a place for questions and corroborative testimony, but the value of a message does not depend on its winning the approval of a selected group of peers. Thus Jesus advised the students of his day that if they wanted to know the truth of a proposition, once they understood it, they would need to validate it for themselves (John 7:15–17). They did not need to wait until that proposition had received the sanction of a scholarly body–which might or might not happen, depending on popular theology or politics. Peer review is a means, not an end. And it does not dominate.

Aspects of the witness pattern are illustrated in Galileo’s efforts to share his discovery of the telescope with the people of his day. Some refused to look in the telescope and see for themselves, unwilling to risk validating Galileo’s testimony, which would contradict the rules of their scholarly tradition. Discussing this human tendency to consider only what is already acceptable, Roszak observes, “After all, if Galileo was right to call those men fools who refused to view the moon through a telescope, what shall we say of those who refuse Blake’s invitation to see eternity in a grain of sand?”  62

Many individuals appear to have sensed the contribution of the faithful tradition , though they might not have embraced it fully. In his Thoughts on Education, No. 190, John Locke observes that the works of nature are the product of a wisdom that so far surpasses human faculties that Natural Philosophy—the knowledge of principles, properties and operations of things as they are in themselves —can never be fully reduced to a science. The search into nature, he felt, must be pursued within a spiritual context:

I think it ought to go before the study of matter and body, not as a science that can be methodized into a system and treated of upon principles of knowledge; but as an enlargement of our minds towards a truer and fuller comprehension of the intellectual world to which we are led by both reason and revelation. And since the clearest and largest discoveries we have of other spirits, besides God and our own souls, is imparted to us from heaven by revelation, I think the information that at least young people should have of them, should be taken from that revelation. To this purpose, I conclude, it would be well, if there were made a good history of the Bible, for young people to read; . . . there would be instilled into the minds of children a notion and belief of spirits, they having so much to do in all the transactions of that history.  63

John Locke would be appalled at the curriculum which the scientific tradition of scholarship and the modern naturalistic worldview have substituted for the history of the Bible and notion of spirits he recommended. Some of today’s researchers point to the obvious discrepancy. W. P. D. Wightman in his two-volume work Science and the Renaissance64 D.J. Wilcox in his In Search of God and Self,  65 all make the point that the modern scholarly tradition distorts the records of the religious commitments of its own ancestry.

Inclusive vs. Exclusive Scholarship

Scholarship must be redefined if it is to contribute to clarifying contemporary moral confusion. I believe that all three scholarly traditions should be professionally legitimized, not canonized. They should be endorsed as tools and the concept of scholarship itself recognized as a means and not an end. Within this type of definition we may find it easier to realize that honest, thoughtful, personal admission of ignorance is very constructive in the academic community. We cannot long teeter on an unstable academic stool. We need the strengths inherent in each of the three scholarly traditions. If we are to successfully confront the challenges of our day, we will find it self-defeating if we allow one tradition to say to the others, “I have no need of thee.” Jesus made the point very clear to the “scholars” of his day when he chastised them for their narrowness, a narrowness that resulted from seeking truth without seeking light. Light and truth, though companions, are not synonyms. The pursuit of one without the other is dangerous. Jesus warned the intellectuals to whom he spoke that they had forsaken what he called the “key of knowledge” and persecuted those who sought intelligence through that key. 66 These individuals had rejected “the fulness of the scriptures” or light of the gospel. Without this light, the truth soon became perverted or was lost to them. Human reason without divine light is a dangerous guide. A search for truth without a search for light is a vain expedition, regardless of how useful, popular or convenient it seems at the moment. It leads to pride, vanity, and error. Humility—not affirmative action, diverse role models, politically correct expression, gender preference, or unbridled sexual expression—is our greatest resource. All scholarship is subject to some difficulty, but exclusive scholarship can be particularly dangerous.

Part III

The Scholarly Atmosphere: A Magnificent Deception?


An organism that grows and dies in a given environment is influenced by the existing atmosphere. Conditions external to it may determine whether it thrives, struggles, or fails to develop in a normal way. Intellectual as well as biological life is subject to atmosphere. Because external conditions may nourish or kill it, any serious examination of human intellectual activity in general and of education in particular, requires some analysis of the surrounding atmosphere or climate. This exploration is simply a matter of attending to the ecology of education; it is a philosophical necessity, a requisite to an effective examination of academic endeavors. The intellectual environment is critical to the vitality of scholarship and the vitality of scholarship is essential to healthy education.

Educators have long believed that a supportive scholarly atmosphere is essential for true education to flourish. I believe this premise is accurate; education devoid of trustworthy scholarship is faulty education. There is a discipline associated with productive seeking, learning and sharing of knowledge, and this discipline is central to educational endeavors.

But “scholarship” is more than using procedures and tools to search and research, examine and create, analyze and synthesize, ponder and appreciate. Scholarship is also a mindset that is shaped and driven by personal intentions, commitments, and allegiances; it is an activity driven by some mental “order” or paradigm, often involving deeply felt, personal considerations and commitments. These two domains, (a) the academic procedures and (b) the dominant mental paradigm, generate the atmosphere in which learning and teaching occur. They are primary aspects of the educational environment.

In Part II, I outlined three major traditions of scholarship: the philosophic or scientific tradition (the study of humankind’s relationship to things), the oratorical tradition (the study of humankind’s relationships one to another), and the faithful tradition (the study of people’s relationship to God). I also suggested that as scholarly traditions take on the aura of a religion they may generate distortions that obstruct an individual’s search for truth and happiness. This issue of allegiance deserves a very careful consideration by anyone who engages in scholarly activity because distortion can impact one’s personal as well as one’s professional life. It may in fact have eternal significance.

An example of the type of distortion to which I refer, is the failure to acknowledge belief systems as religions when they function as religion in the life of a person or a group of persons. The result is frequently a form of pollution in the academic atmosphere; the impact might be likened to creating a hole in the intellectual ozone. Ideas can be contaminants. In this part of the essay, I call specific attention to the way recent Western culture has abused the scholarly atmosphere through an abusive and deceptive use of secularization ; a phenomenon sometimes called the secularization hypothesis. It is possible to contaminate an atmosphere.

Scholarship as a Form of Religion

Scholarly activity is not embedded in neutral belief systems as some have supposed. This is clearly evident in the promotion of the secularization hypothesis, in which the underlying assumption is that “society moves from some sacred condition to successively secular conditions in which the sacred evermore recedes.” 67  This novel notion may be intriguing, but the ultimate consequences of its implementation are hardly well understood. The price tag may be significantly detrimental. And it does seem curious if not ominous for a society to propose, promote, and celebrate the death of the sacred order—particularly when the chief morticians are gifted and privileged members of the scholarly community. Why? And for what purpose?

This particular secularization notion, popularized by theorists like “Marx, James, Durkheim, Freud, Malinowski, and H. R. Niebuhr,” has significantly influenced modern social, legal, and political thought. But it is now a thesis enveloped in turmoil. A flurry of confusion is apparent, and some writers are striving to resolve the dilemma by word definitions. Phillip E. Hammond, for example, reports: “the scientific study of religion has been shaken to its roots” and “the secularization thesis—as traditionally understood—is not sufficient to allow us to understand why.” 68 Hammond’s book illustrates some of the linguistic distinctions that writers are making to preserve the secularization hypothesis and still honor concepts of traditional religion. But these distinctions do not solve the problem; it is much more fundamental.

I do not believe, for example, that making fine- lined distinctions between terms like “sacred” and “religious” and between “secularization” and “secularism” resolves the fundamental problem. A more appropriate answer to Hammond’s concern is to understand both “secularization” and “secularism” as being essentially a form of religion (albeit non-conventional). Popular combatants commonly ignore the fact that almost any scholarly activity is connected to forms that tend to function as “religion.” This fact does not change because the debaters call these forms secular and refuse to acknowledge them as religious. When a belief takes the place of religion, it is functioning as a substitute religion. Mislabeling simply promotes a subtle form of self-deception. Perhaps I can illustrate.

From its beginning, scholarship has been a craft in the service of some venerated order. Numerous writers have recognized and recorded this perspective. Given the evidence, it is amazing that scholarly activity and the communities generated by it are not perceived as religious activities and organizations. But in Western culture they are not, and this is the root of the difficulty. When I say “they are not” I mean generally this is not what we teach ourselves. But there are those who have recognized that intense belief systems, even secular belief systems, do function as religions. The elements are very similar if not identical.

If the authorities who describe the sociality of scholarship as religious activity are correct, and I believe they are, this viewpoint helps to explain much of the intellectual turmoil in our society. The intensity of conflicts over alternative lifestyles, sexual preference, definition of family, censorship, environmentalism, academic freedom, etc. can be more easily understood when they are viewed as expressions of divergent religious belief systems. Recognizing these belief systems as religions also levels the playing field. Social and academic diversities are more honest, and their competitions are more fair when modern secular belief systems have to play by the same legal and cultural rules as the traditional religious belief systems. Today they do not play by the same rules.

Clearly, a major incentive exists for some participants to not call secular belief systems religions. But this incentive needs to be exposed; it needs to be better understood by this generation.

Historical distortion is more evident when one examines the emergence of secularism in terms of a belief system separate from but comparable to traditional religion. Many of those most closely associated with the secularization of scholarship did view it in this way. For example, Georgio de Santillana refers to the early Greek forms of science as “scientific religions” and implies that conflicts would be natural between such religions. 69 This may explain why later “sciences” have considered departures from their doctrines as heresies.

Karl Popper carries the theme to our day when he notes that modern science originated as “a religious or semi-religious movement and Bacon was [its] prophet.” 70 John Dewey agreed, observing that whatever “concerns the spirit and atmosphere of the pursuit of knowledge, Bacon may be taken as the prophet of a pragmatic conception of knowledge.” Dewey also argued that if scholars would carefully observe and follow this prophet “many misconceptions of [the] spirit . . . and the end of knowledge” would be avoided. 71 The common doctrine in the new religion was what Bacon and Dewey identified as the “social factor.” This factor attributes the origin of all acceptable knowledge to man. Herein lies the uniqueness of secular religion.

August Comte’s writings, as Robert Nisbet explains, portray how the “reigning scientists have become priests in name and fact.” Under the banner “the Religion of Humanity,” society became the new “Grand Being;” exactly what Christianity had been for those of the Middle Ages. In Comte’s vision the new religion was to “forever replace in mankind’s consciousness all earlier and false deities.” 72 It was his conviction that humanity, “scientifically defined, . . . is the truly Supreme Being.” 73 John Dewey agreed. In his articulation of “A Common Faith,” he carefully explains “another conception of the nature of the religious phase of experience.” The new explanation puts man in the center and eliminates any “necessity for a Supernatural Being and for an immortality that is beyond the power of nature.” 74

This perspective gives an added dimension to Ernest Boyer’s recent claim that in order for “America’s colleges and universities to remain vital” they must develop “a new vision of scholarship.” 75 Boyer’s injunction, in the foregoing context, becomes a call to religious service, but service to what religious order? This appears to be a critical question.

I assert that practitioners of scholarship, knowingly or unknowingly, are in fact disciples of something, and the nature of that something often requires a commitment of a religious form and intensity. Life in our modern scholarly community, attests to the fact that scholarship is more than collecting and using tools to search for understanding and wisdom; invariably, scholarly activity becomes an instrument of some existing paradigm—a belief system that governs its application. Sometimes “scholars, scientists, or philosophers” admit their discipleship and describe the “world picture” to which they are committed, and sometimes they intentionally hide it. “But in the majority of men,” writes W. C. Stace, “it works unseen, a dim background in their minds, unnoticed by themselves because [it is] taken for granted.” 76 Nevertheless, commitment to these belief systems as Thomas Kuhn observes, is the result of a “conversion experience” 77 –not just willful adherence to an objective accumulation of fact.

The Problem

The problem is hard to discern but easy to comprehend: Scholarship is entangled in a magnificent deception; quietly generation after generation is led into mindsets that function as religious orders without their being recognized as such. This deception promotes neither good scholarship nor good religion; it nurtures social, legal, and political confusion and conflict. And in its wake the nature and the purpose of education are changed and the function of the University becomes obscured if not suspect.

Anthropologist Clifford Geertz argues that the heart of religion “is the conviction that the values one holds are grounded in an inherent structure of reality.”  78 Modern expressions of scholarship make the same claim. Einstein’s statement that “belief in an external world, independent of the perceiving subject, is the basis of all natural science” and Michael Polanyi’s assertion that “science or scholarship can never be more than an affirmation of the things we believe in” illustrate this point. Faith founded in ” ultimate beliefs [that] are irrefutable and unprovable” is the common foundation of both religious and scholarly traditions.  79 Neither religion nor scholarship can exist without faith in such presuppositions.

Basic Thesis

With the perspective of this biography of scholarship it is my thesis that all varieties of scholarship are in fact forms of religious activity. The individual personality links the product of scholarship, its method(s), and the paradigm it serves. They become inextricably bonded. Otherwise both integrity and responsibility are fractured, bracketed, or compartmentalized. Consequently, the paradigm that drives the method and interprets its outcomes is crucial.

In approaching this thesis, it is important to discern clearly between the tools of scholarship and the belief system or tradition that drives the person using those tools. Scholarly tools can and should be viewed as instruments of service, subject to a belief system that provides the context for their use. What should not be ignored is that the “belief system” is inevitably a “religious” order— regardless of the language one might use to describe it.

An implication of this thesis is that scholars are very susceptible to the practical problems associated with serving two or more masters. A person may be adept in applying the tools of scholarship, but ultimately this application will serve some “religious order,” the one to which the scholar grants the greatest allegiance. “Truth in scholarship” includes full disclosure of the driving order as well as the procedures and outcomes of scholarly endeavors. But this is not how academia now operates; it has enclosed itself within a bastion called secularism. The popular assumption is that academic procedures and outcomes are independent of religious commitments. I do not believe this is true or defensible. Not for the chemist, psychologist, historian, artist, attorney or the scholar in any of the disciplines.

Religion Defined

This essay assumes a view of religion that includes four components: (1) a system of basic or ultimate beliefs which constitute a formative world view, (2) a personal commitment by an individual or a community of mutually supportive believers to this belief, (3) a pattern of moral practice resulting from adherence to this belief, and (4) an ethic that provides “a means toward ultimate transformation.” 81

Transformation is a compelling human quest; it is the core of intentional experience. Defining religion in terms of the striving for transformation is inclusive rather than exclusive, conferring civic recognition equally on “traditional religions” and on “secular belief systems” that function as religions. R. N. Proctor draws attention to this likeness when he observes that modern academic theory tends to be “a kind of secular theodicy.” Most modern social theory evolved from religious concerns; it reflects religion-like suppositions and, as Proctor indicates, “has been subject to the charge of theodicy.”  80

The University as a Religious Center

All universities, in addition to housing the tools of scholarship, function as religious solariums where devotees of selected orders and potential members for these “sacred” orders gather in a clustered if not cloistered community. These are individuals dedicated to or in search of some means of transformation, whether it be actualization, recognition, certification, graduation or some other academic symbol or process. The search, when dutifully followed, results in subtle or overt commitments that invite the scholar to give singular recognition to a particular mental paradigm
81 81 accepted by the community.

According to this pattern, a university sponsored by the Catholic religion may expect its scholars to apply their scholarly tools for the benefit of the Catholic church. However, a scholar in that university may experience greater loyalty to the governing paradigm of a particular discipline, society, or “secular order” than to the Catholic church. David W. Lutz portrays such a conflict at Notre Dame University as “a battle for the soul of the university,” with “the Catholic character of the University” at stake. Lutz, a non-Catholic professor at Notre Dame, sees the battle as “between traditional Christians and people whose worldview is rooted primarily in the Enlightenment,” those who have embraced “the post-enlightenment, non-theistic faith” that Justice Hugo Black called “secular humanism.” 82

Arguing from the thesis of this paper, I would designate the problem Lutz describes not as a struggle between religion and non-religion, but as a contest between two religions—or “churches”–a traditional church and an academic church. The process underway among the professoriate is the process of determining which of these “churches” is going to command their primary loyalty—the choice can be significant. This problem is no less a dilemma at Brigham Young University or for the religious believer who might be enrolled in the most secular of Universities, whether the participants recognize it or not.

Characteristically, academic work is ritual work in the service of some belief system— overtly or covertly. All scholarship is linked to suppositions that are related to some “religion” or “church.” J. J. Cohen compellingly demonstrates the “absurdity of trying to pin ‘religion’ down to a single theology or a single institutional form.”  83  And William B. Williamson clearly demonstrates the artificial nature of dividing modern “isms” into religious and non-religious categories. “Man’s religious beliefs are expressed in many forms,” Williamson says; he then proceeds to list a range of these expressions: “traditional theism; ethical theism; limited theism; existentialism; the ‘end of theism’; naturalism; humanism; pantheism; agnosticism; and atheism.”  84  All can function as religious orders.

Another valid and useful list of religious forms could include the various curricular disciplines in which students become disciples—beginning with anthropology and ending with zoology. Those who have observed the zealous defense of organic evolution in the face of challenges put forward by creationists or the application of the doctrine of free speech to protect art forms and literature that are challenged as pornographic may recognize the deeply “religious” nature of individual commitments on both sides of these debates. The zeal often extends far beyond the data base, intellectual preference, or commitment.

But this “religious” conflict is not limited to modern vs. traditional views, it is waged with similar intensity between the academic sects. In spite of modern efforts to promote academic ecumenism, the deep division of “turf” is familiar to those who have attempted any form of interdisciplinary fusion. The commitments and allegiances that continue to separate the disciplines can be interpreted as manifestations of religious ardor as real as those that characterize a Southern Baptist revival, a Latter-day Saint conference, or any of the various ecumenical councils.

This religious zeal and sense of congregational community extends beyond the scholarly domain and is manifest in political parties, the press corps, unions, legal and medical professions, and other organizations that function as religion for many of those in their respective memberships. The experience for individual participants is as real in public life today as it was in Athens for Paul, the Christian apostle, who was invited to the “press conference” on Mars Hill by the Stoics and the Epicureans.  85  The experience is very personal.

For each scholar or consumer of academic scholarship, a question emerges: What “religion” or “church” sponsored this work? To correctly understand an act, insight, or condition, one must understand the motive behind it. Each scholar’s fundamental allegiance, loyalty, and commitment resides in some “church”; and the scholar, like the laborer, cannot serve two masters equally. One may not agree with John Dewey who prescribed faith in science as the way to acquire beliefs as well as the “method of changing beliefs.” But he was open in declaring that for him “supreme loyalty” was to be vested in the “method” as perceived through his particular paradigm.  86  Although such commitment may not significantly affect every product of scholarship, the potential for it to do so should be explicitly acknowledged.

To be academically “honest,” the scholar should disclose the religious commitment behind the act or treatise of scholarship. For example, it is fair and appropriate for you to know that I am presenting this essay from the point of view of a believer in a supernatural as well as a natural domain —as a committed and practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The belief system that drives my use of the scholarly tools and procedures is not neutral. I trust that this application is fair, honest, and open to scrutiny, but I do not claim it deserves special treatment under the doctrine of secular neutrality—there is no such thing. Scholars who claim their secular work is or should be immune to the scrutiny of religious knowledge are seeking cover behind an arbitrary exclusionary perspective. It lacks candor.

As philosophers of education recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the various tools of scholarship—such as guileless inquiry, disciplined reason, honest search and research, meticulous record keeping, limited scope, subjective interpretation, sincere reporting etc.–they should also have the courage to identify and anticipate the influence of the religious order that governs the individual who uses those tools. When this responsibility is ignored, deception may occur; and youth may be unwittingly absorbed into “religious orders” of which they are not aware and to which they may not wish to commit. Being open and forthright strengthens and protects the true scholarly process.

Religion as Belief Systems and Belief Systems as Scholarly Tradition

Characteristics common to such recognized religions as Judaism, Christianity, Islam or Hinduism are clearly discernible in their literature and in the behavior of the respective disciples. And the same general characteristics are equally self-evident in the literature and disciples of physical science, social science, linguistics, law, medicine, and other forms of scholarship. These parallel orders display similar if not identical elements: robes, rituals, sacrifices, rites of entry, and levels of priestly authority.

Both religion and scholarship strive for harmony and promote personal encounter; both seek creative interaction and sensuous experience; both are characterized by rewards, punishments and elements of mysticism. Likewise, they share a hunger for rebirth, devotion to community, and conformity to cosmic law. They seek freedom through discipleship, self-integration, and the achievement of human rights. They strive to conquer inadequacy, to achieve the abundant life. The experiences of a committed graduate student and a novitiate in any of the traditional religious orders are very similar. The focus and sacrifice, submission and performance, obstacles and language, ceremonies and rewards are common components. And the places assigned in the resulting hierarchy reflect a shared pattern.

Scholarly activities can and indeed do reflect religious orders. These orders build houses in which to worship, promote mandated liturgies, proselyte and initiate prospective members. August Comte clearly reflected the religious nature of scholarly traditions when he announced: “Thus positivism becomes, in the true sense of the word, Religion; the only religion which is real and complete; destined to replace all imperfect and provisional systems resting on the primitive basis of theology.”  87  He did not try to hide his allegiance. Every scholar who cherishes membership in some religion of the conventional sort will at some time have to choose between a fundamental allegiance to that conventional religion or to some academic religion that would seek to supplant it.

The confrontation must eventually come—as it did for Charles Darwin (to the deep-felt dismay of his wife Emma, who feared for his soul and said she “would be most unhappy if I thought we did not belong to each other for ever”). Early in his life Darwin admitted being a “quite orthodox” Christian. However, as time passed, he said, “I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but it was at last complete.” He described how “the old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley” failed “now that the law of natural selection has been discovered.” Darwin’s new “theology” changed his thinking and his former commitment. “I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true,” he said; it “is a damnable doctrine.”  88  Darwin rejected one religion to embrace another.

Julian Huxley described academic religion as “religion without revelation” and declared, “The god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable, has lost its explanatory value and is becoming an intellectual and moral burden to our thought.” He testified of the enormous “sense of spiritual relief which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a superhuman being.”  89  Huxley, like Darwin, Watson, Dewey and many others, agreed that the new intellectual order required new doctrines. As Albert Einstein concluded: “In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God.”  90

Huxley elaborated other doctrinal changes, among them “new religious terminology and reformulations of religious ideas and concepts” adopted by the modern world of scholarship. He noted that the idea of “eternity” was replaced with “enduring process,” the concept of “salvation” with “attaining . . . satisfying states of inner being,” and the idea of “prayer” with “aspiration and self-exploration.” Huxley maintained, “There is no room for petitionary prayer,” because there is no personality to petition. Rather, society is to “enlist the aid of psychologists and psychiatrists in helping men and women to explore the depths and heights of their own inner selves instead of restlessly pursuing external novelty.”  91  John Dewey, like Huxley, preferred a religion without Deity in which man played the central role. Man has the capacity to imagine and to transform his imaginations into actions. “It is this [power],” said he, “to which I would give the name ‘God.'”  92

Emile Durkheim extended the explanation of religious order and, like Comte, identified its source as society—any society. Everything, according to Durkheim, that conforms to the conventions of society is made holy. Public sanction is the power that makes things sacred.  93  Carl A. Raschke et al. argue that whatever “composes a universe in which the supreme values and goals of a particular community of individuals are transformed into real elements of cosmic order” constitutes a religion.  94  The U. S. Supreme Court has tended to agree, defining religion as a belief system or worldview with or without reference to God.  95  Modern scholarship has plenty of “Priests” who helped design and shape the doctrines that dictate its operation.

A Day of Many Churches

Thus one could conclude that any definitive perspective or belief system that (1) conveys a description of reality, (2) offers evidence for the validity of that description, and (3) reflects some pattern of “moral” beliefs and (4) provides skills and tools for survival within the scope of such reality may function as a religion in a person’s life. This pattern is evident in both ancient and modern times. With established requirements for membership and insistence upon offerings, all such “churches” or bodies of believers depend on a continuous flow of adherents to survive. Hence, proselytes are recruited, trained, and empowered according to strategies created by those who govern the system. Many such “churches” have been built up in response to changing world views among humankind.

Students of western culture have noted the ever-changing views that shape and seek to unify this society. Edward Harrison refers to this in his review of cosmology—the study of universes—in terms of masks. He suggests we see the past as a procession of these masks, a parade of rising and falling “cosmic belief-systems.” 96  In his view we have come from a mythic past through Ionian, Pythagorean, and Aristotelian world-systems to a modern post-Newtonian world view: A captivating and colorful parade with an intoxicating Mardi Gras aura about it. Considered in this light, suggestions of modern, socially indoctrinated “mass psychosis” are not as far-fetched as they otherwise might seem. Thus Ortega y Gasset describes the enigma of our society: “We do not know what is happening to us, and that is precisely what is happening to us—the fact of not knowing what is happening to us.”  97

Richard Weaver cautions observers to recognize that this parade of history is not necessarily a march of progress, although he admits that to suggest otherwise is highly unpopular. Weaver maintains that “it is extremely difficult today to get people in any number to see contrary implications.” When “we ask people to even consider the possibility of decadence, we meet incredulity and resentment.”  98  Such a response is very consistent with the dominant theology attributed to modern scholarship: Its adherents seek safety and power in their claim that scholarship is objective and value-free, not dependent on vulnerable presuppositions. The contemporary trend in the scholarly domain, despite some obvious historic examples of openness, appears to be intentionally less than transparent. Politically it must have its advantages.

Whether we see regress or progress, however, one factor in these many studies is clearly evident: the autonomy that modern man has ascribed to himself. Whatever the theoretical framework (Marxist, Freudian, Deweyian or some other), the conclusion within Western thinking has been almost unanimous. As Weaver put it, “For four centuries every man has been not only his own priest but his own professor of ethics.”  99  I would say, that at least in in western culture, a growing consensus appears to be that each person has the prerogative to walk in his own way, in the image of his own “god,” which image is in the likeness of the worldview he or she constructs. The traditional objects of idolatry may have disappeared, but the practice seems to be alive and well. Paige Smith describes some of the new altars: “presentism—that tireless lust for the new,” “excessive specialization,” “knowledge for its own sake,” “relativism . . . equal importance or unimportance,” and “finally . . . the brute fact of size, the disease of giantism.”  100  There are others that could be named.

The alleged demise of traditional transcendental religion as an acknowledged core concept in modern western culture  101  does not mean there has been a decline in religious orders. An abundance of “churches” continue to cry “lo here,” and “lo there.” The war of words and the tumult of opinions are as prevalent today as they were in New England during the early 1800s. The names of the “churches” may differ, but the nature of the competition is essentially unchanged. The central issue is the same today as it was in antiquity: “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.”  102

Thus academic disciplines have assumed the role of religion in the lives of millions of modernists and postmodernists. These modern sects now dominate the public power structure through schools and professional organizations that are extensions of university-based disciplines. Their variant “[the]ologies” are fashioned from the respective traditions of scholarship and these “theologies” are debated and defended vigorously and emotionally. The semantics may differ, but the practice is remarkably constant.

John Dewey very candidly discussed the new “Education as a Religion,”  103   and Alfred North

Whitehead observed that “the essence of education is that it be religious.”  104  To ignore the religious nature and the “theological” power of modern belief systems is to ignore the social reality in which we now live, and to deceive those we educate to live under it. Youth should be free to ask forthrightly, “Which of all these churches is right?” They deserve the opportunity to seek a personal answer to this question. And this search should not be confused by camouflaging some religious belief systems as non-religious because they have identified themselves as secular.

Impressive campuses dotted with “cathedrals” have been established or conveniently “occupied,” as W. B. Riley lamented in the 1920s. He claimed even then that “liberal bandits” had robbed the fundamentalists of billions of dollars of real estate and facilities. “Ninety-nine out of every hundred” dollars spent to construct the great denominational universities, colleges, schools, seminaries, hospitals and publication societies in this country “were given by fundamentalists and filched by modernists.” “It took hundreds of years,” he said, “to collect this money and construct these institutions. It has taken only a quarter of a century for the liberal bandits to capture them.”  105

Whatever the mode of acquisition, large and small congregations now fill these facilities. Meetings—numerous and regular—are conducted to define, disseminate, and direct the work of these ministries of modern academe. Prospective members are recruited, instructed, and formally accepted into the various orders. This process seems very normal, natural and easy to accept because the “new orders” are not called religions; they are perceived as secular scholarly associations. But as George Sheehan has observed, “Every man is religious. Every man is already acting out his compelling beliefs.” “Religion,” he says, “is the way you manifest whatever is urgent and imperative in your relationship to yourself and your universe, to your fellow man and to your Creator.”  106  In this context, scholarship is always a tool in the service of some personal or professional religious order. How could it be otherwise?

Individuals destined for leadership in the various disciplines are carefully prepared. They are screened, tested, and sent on developmental missions of internship, clerkship, and eventual partnership as they are trained for a particular priestly order. Recognition and advancement are ceremoniously bestowed. Loyalty, commitment, and devotion to the order are prescribed and carefully monitored. Once accepted, adherents are expected to be supportive witnesses and valiant defenders of their designated “faith.” And all this occurs in a context that James Turner calls “human and worldly”   107  –a context that designates the human race as the primary focus in a universe composed solely of physical matter. The result is attorneys who say, “I see no relationship between my Sunday religion and my practice of the law.” Or chemists who proclaim, “On Sunday or at home I may be a member of the Church, but in my lab I am a Chemist and my students need to understand that,” etc., etc. Compartmentalization, popular as it is, does not resolve the issue.

Consequently, it would be an intellectual error to label today’s academic and social controversies as purely secular and objective or as conflicts between the sacred and the secular. Politicians would call this disinformation. Disputations over creation, birth control, abortion, maturation education, sexual lifestyles, political correctness, academic freedom, woman’s studies, ecology, life support systems, etc. are the product of different religions contending one with another. To view them otherwise is to become a willing victim of a magnificent deception. It not only distorts the issues, it confuses the people who confront them.

One of the many results of accepting scholarship as a form of religious commitment is that it reveals a major dilemma. Was Walter Lippmann correct when he suggested that “only the universities” can fill “the modern void resulting from [our] emancipation from the ancestral order?”  108

It has been fashionable in this century to see the university as the new caretaker and expositor of the moral order in society. As Dave Dodson, a student columnist at Berkeley, put it several decades ago, “In a sentence, the University must today be our Church.” The rationale for Dodson’s position is a logical outcome of the historical data described in this essay. He wrote to his fellow students and the faculty:

Here at the University where Science and the Humanities can be approached in an integrated fashion, where commitment and understanding can be attained together, and where both culture and critical reason can be explored simultaneously— only here can we achieve our social and even religious salvation. For it is only at the University that a peoplecan acquire the knowledge and motivation prerequisite to the formation of real community.  109

When one assumes membership in a religion committed to this type of theology conflicts may emerge within the individual and between the different institutions with whom he/she affiliates. Institutions do not readily relinquish their intellectual and moral leadership, nor do we allow them to do so. How does the individual choose which to follow and which to change? Or does one fragment into multiple and relative “moral” or “spiritual” value systems and apply them according to need, ignoring or redefining the issue of integrity.

Is the compulsive struggle for so-called “academic freedom” actually a struggle for freedom to apply the tools of scholarship, or is it a struggle for license to apply them according to the tenants of an order or society in which one has chosen to make his primary commitment? Is the question one of freedom, or one of permission to follow a popular rather than a traditional religious belief system? The answers to this questions frame many of the moral dilemmas of our day. It frames the timeless question: An eye single to whose glory?

Among the “churches” that emerge around scholars, a common article of faith is that each of these orders insists on being its own highest court of appeal; its own expertise is the supreme authority in its chartered domain. All who question this authority are pretenders to a throne which holds unquestioned dominion. As scholars build these “churches” unto themselves, they tend to function as laws unto themselves. In this sense they seem to offer a non-unique answer to Joshua’s question regarding whom to serve: “But as for me and my house we will serve ourselves.” It seems to me we are in need of a higher common cause. And this sense of need leads me to conclude this section with the question To whom or to what does the scholar owe loyalty?


Part IV

Loyalty in Scholarship:  Hubris or Humility?



Scholarship may be one of the most sophisticated forms of camouflage human culture has ever invented. The current use of the word scholarship covers a wide variety topics and processes. Much of what the word represents is often hidden or disguised. Like the term love, scholarship can be used in many different ways—ways that are vital, nurturing, supportive, fickle, deceptive, or destructive. Additional uncertainty occurs with the tendency for contemporary culture to make some words appear to shift meanings—according to various “political” pressures. It is quite evident that the rapid ideological change that accompanied modernity has produced a confusion capable of fostering intellectual pestilence. The presence of this pestilence is readily apparent to those who read the current critiques of the Academy or recognize the “culture wars” that envelope us.   110  The issue of loyalty in scholarship resides in this troubled context. It is a challenge to anyone who comes to an understanding of its role in our society.

This essay raises a particularly disturbing question: In this field of conflicting loyalties, to whom or to what should the scholar be true?

My earlier sections addressed the need to (a) consider the role in which a scholar finds himself or herself, (b) redefine scholarship, and (c) recognize the pollution of the academic atmosphere caused by the secularization hypothesis, which holds that as society moves from a sacred orientation to successively secular viewpoints, the sacred must continually recede.   111  Part II described three major traditions of scholarship: the faithful tradition (the study of the human relationship to God), the oratorical tradition (the study of humans’ relationships to each other), and the philosophic or scientific tradition (the study of humans’ relationships with things). The thesis of this section was that modern academe has essentially rejected the faithful tradition and left the oratorical tradition at the mercy of the philosophic or scientific tradition. Part III provided evidence that the modern definition of scholarship is narrow and restrictive. The emergence of the popular view of scholarship has been accompanied by a proliferation of secular belief systems that often function as traditional religions do but avoid calling themselves religions because it provides a political advantage.

Caution is in order, it seems, when the academy shrinks the definition of scholarship until it represents far less than the libraries of knowledge the academy purports to examine. I believe there is cause for concern when almost anything defined as scholarly activity is connected to social forms and systems of belief that can and often do function as covert religions. Labeling these forms as secular and winking at the consequences only exacerbates the problem. From its very beginning, scholarship has been a craft in the service of some venerated order. Mislabeling to avoid acknowledging allegiance simply promotes a subtle form of self-deception.

The issue of loyalty in scholarship cannot be validly addressed unless both the definition and the function of scholarly activity are explicit and clearly apparent. This becomes evident if one takes the time to carefully examine each of the three scholarly traditions.

For example, Rudolph Pfeiffer notes that the term scholarship is Greek in origin and owes its existence to the presence of the book. Without books, according to Pfeiffer, the possibility of scholarship is lost—“the very existence of scholarship depends on the book.”   112 Curtis Wright joins Pfeiffer in arguing that the art of understanding, explaining, and restoring the literary tradition was “a critical art with uncritical antecedents in the oriental cultures that nevertheless matures only in the Alexandrian period following the Golden Age.”  113  Both of these writers maintain that scholarship did not arise from the efforts of scientists to understand and explain the world, but that it was a separate intellectual discipline created by the poets to preserve and to use their literary heritage—the classics.

This classical perception of scholarship—the oratorical tradition—continues to function in limited circles but does not prevail in the modern academy. Today, scholarship is shaped into its most exclusive forms by rules of order within the scientific or philosophic tradition. It is this type of scholarship, with its empirical overtones, that dominates the academy and controls the majority of western research budgets. The “scientists,” not the “poets,” determine the emphasis in twentieth century schooling. Modernity is obsessed with learning about people’s relationship to things, and despite the demise of logical positivism and the rise of post-modernism, the locus of control remains intact. What has come to be known as the “scientific method” prevails. The internal challenges to this view, stimulating as they might be, have yet to significantly change the larger intellectual environment. Meanwhile, the faithful order of scholarship, which includes communion with and deference to a transcendent authority, remains despised or largely ignored in Western culture: learning by study is respectable, learning by faith is not.

The current use of the term scholarship veils a variety of activities in various disciplines. But despite the spongy meanings associated with the term scholarship, I believe a common ground underlies its various applications. This common ground is the motive of the scholar. It is the influence of this motive, expressed through the scholar’s personality and his or her application of the “rules” that determines the basic quality and governs the eventual outcomes of scholarly work—whatever tradition of scholarship the scholar chooses to follow.

I repeat that scholarship tends to go beyond collecting tools to use in searching for understanding and wisdom; invariably, scholarly activity combines personal motives with the method of the scholar’s discipline. It is motive more than method that makes the scholar an instrument of some existing paradigm—a belief system that governs the scholar’s application of both the tools and subsequent interpretation of the findings. Personal intention is the mother of action, and it is this intention that determines the focus of loyalty in the scholarly endeavor. On a descriptive scale, the intrinsic quality of this intention may run from hubris to humility—the inevitable teeter-totter of human discourse. Ultimately, there may be only two churches in or out of academia—each driven by one of these two forces.

Pride is a term that conveys more than one meaning. It may be used to denote a feeling derived from recognizing efforts to excellence without regard to personal advantage. But it can also mean hubris. Hubris is a type of pride that is rooted in loyalty to human power and autonomy. Scholarship driven by hubris takes on a much different tone than scholarship that develops in humility, which ascribes the ultimate source of wisdom to a higher power. Certainly, there are those in the intellectual community whose personal intention is characterized by humility. There are wonderful men and women in our universities who are contrite people of real integrity. But as Martin Anderson explains, “this world is badly flawed. Too many of our universities and colleges have acquired . . . the same kind of smug arrogance that comes to people who are never seriously challenged, the kind of elitist mindset that makes its leaders feel they are above the laws and values that govern others.”  114  Scholarship in such settings is enveloped in hubris.

Anderson maintains that the “avalanche of books and articles that have poured over us in recent years has demonstrated convincingly that not only is all not well on America’s university campuses, but that some things are really rotten.”  115  Few would deny the distinct presence of a disturbing odor; pride thrives in the fertile warmth of decay, and its presence is easy to detect. This type of intellectual environment could be a problem for any scholar. Avoiding pride and embracing humility can be a personal dilemma. Consider some of the subtleties that frame this quandary.

The Personal Dilemma

By logic, Aristotle arrived at the principle of goodness as a mean flanked on one side by an excess and on the other by a deficit. He applied this rationale to a number of virtues—fear, temperance, liberality, magnificence, friendliness, justice, and pride. “In the matter of honour the mean is ‘proper pride’ the excess ‘vanity,’ the defect ‘poor spiritedness.'”  116  As expressed in W. T. Jones’ The Classical Mind, pride is placed as the ideal between vanity on the one hand and humility on the other.  117  This comparison, I believe is suspect and needs to be questioned.

Aristotle’s argument seeks to describe positive virtues, one of which is labeled as pride. At best pride may be the wrong word to apply in the comparison, and at worst his conclusion regarding the described condition may not be a virtue at all. Regardless of how carefully one describes what pride is, the argument may be flawed—depending on the context one uses to arrive at the operational definitions of these terms. Describing feelings with words is not a simple task as Aristotle admitted.

J. A. K. Thomson points out that Aristotle did enter “a caution”: Just because “virtue observes the mean in actions and passions, we do not say this of all acts and all feelings.” Some actions and passions, he admits, “are essentially evil and, when these are involved, our rule of applying the mean cannot be brought into operation.”  118  Pride may very well fall under this caveat, depending on just what spirit and disposition Aristotle had in mind. It may be that the term pride is not the most appropriate designation. This becomes increasingly apparent as one reviews the efforts of those who have attempted to develop more fully the description of this word in a philosophical context.

Richard Taylor, for example, offers a very explicit rationale to affirm what may be asserted as building on Aristotle’s premise—that pride is a virtue, a laudable ideal. Taylor claims that pride is not arrogance, conceit, vanity or other such vulgar manifestations. Pride is not a “matter of manners or demeanor”; rather pride is “a personal excellence.” For instance he argues:

Genuinely proud people perceive themselves as better than others, and their pride is justified because their perception is correct. Thus, they love themselves, not as children and ordinary people do, for these do not possess the kind of worth that justifies such self esteem, but because they really are, in the classical sense of the term, good. Their virtues are not assimilated ones, nor do they consist merely in the kind of innocence that wins the approbation of others. Instead they are their own in the truest sense: that they come from within themselves and win the approbation of the only judge who counts—oneself.  119

If this is what Aristotle meant by pride, then the root remains in human imperfection. It is flawed, fully capable of creating the contemporary academic scene that Anderson describes. Taylor is probably correct when he asserts that “proud people have little interest in the admiration of others except for what they are; and even that admiration must come only from such persons, always relatively few, who are themselves proud people, in the truest sense, and hence better.”  120  But this perception is a form of elitism that becomes a law unto itself. It has no counterbalance and claims none. Can this be a virtue?

Taylor continues his argument by asserting that “proud people . . . care nothing at all for the opinions of insignificant persons, but are instead concerned with what they think of themselves.”   121  Who would deny the presence of such a mood in our society—at every level where personal prestige and achievement rather than humility and service reign supreme. Greed and selfishness do abound. Humility seems to be a rather rare commodity. How characteristic of many academic settings is Taylor’s observation that some things are “easily recognized by other proud persons, though not understood by the meek and the foolish. A proud person is, for example, serious, but not solemn, whereas a meek person’s efforts to be serious results only in a laughable solemnity.”  122

At this point the educational dangers are more clearly manifest. Exclusionary elitism is a mark of proud scholarship. Narrow answers are given to those telling questions: To whom am I willing to listen? From whom am I willing to learn? Who of us hasn’t felt the discomfort that gives personal meaning to Taylor’s description of the social context in which pride prevails:

Proud people delight in the company of other proud and worthwhile persons, and seek above all to discover and appreciate their strengths and virtues. . . . A person is not worthy of esteem just by the fact of being a person but, rather, by the fact of being a person of outstanding worth, which is something quite rare. . . . They ask [only] what will please themselves.  123

The moral order that evolves from this type of scholarly atmosphere makes no claim to universality; it has to be deferential to the individual on his or her terms. Moral value is relative and situational in the most humanistic sense. Taylor describes it well:

With respect to what is popularly called “morality,” a proud person is in the best sense the creator of his or her own. Nothing is done merely because it is recommended and done by others. Rather, something is done because he or she sees it as worthy of being done, and especially because it is worthy of himself or herself.  124

When this moral infrastructure governs the scholar’s intent, loyalty to selfish pride is the only alternative for personal governance. And when selfish pride governs—however subtle—humility is always absent.

If, on the other hand, one chooses to seek out and cultivate humility, a very different paradigm emerges. Humility offers a different atmosphere for scholarship because it is nurtured by a different motive than is pride. Humility presupposes a belief system that permits authority to transcend the individual, a particular group, or even mankind.

Merold Westphal illustrates this option with the work of Kierkegaard.  125  His treatise asserts that scholars are boxed in by the current narrow “scientific” definition of scholarship. For example, if one accepts the arguments along the paths that lead from Heideggar to Derrida (that objective knowledge is an illusion) or from Wittgenstein to Rorty (that certainty is an illusion), modern “scientific” scholarship is insufficient in its philosophical breadth. Those who resist expanding the definition, says Westphal, “see the anti-scientific mood of contemporary philosophy as inevitably culminating in nihilism.” They are saying in effect that if one leaves the narrow view of scholar as scientist, “the sophist is the only alternative model for the philosopher.” Kierkegaard disagreed, holding that “philosophers should not think of themselves primarily in terms of the “scientist” or in terms of the “sophist” who engages knowledge in the service of egotism, or service without responsibility; “the Hebrew prophet provides a better model.”  126

Westphal emphasizes Kierkegaard’s position by demonstrating that even phenomenology is an insufficient alternative. To illustrate, he shows that “the phenomenology of religion . . . is a descriptive enterprise. It is concerned with truth, but not with the truth of religious assertions; and it brackets questions of transcendence in order to describe the form and content of religion as an observable phenomenon.”  127

Phenomenologists take Immanuel Kant seriously. They believe that philosophy of religion can be a science, not “in the transcendent sense, giving objective truth about God, freedom, and immortality” but “as an immanent science describing the structures of human experience.” The resulting problem is that instead of trying to “bracket their religious interests, values, and commitments in order to discuss the truth of religious assertions objectively [as traditional scientists], they bracket the question of religious truth in order to describe religious phenomena objectively.”  128

This approach is only a variation on the old system of scientific scholarship. It is not the way the Hebrew prophets handled their encounter with truth. In fact, Westphal notes, “Part of the phenomenologists’ motivation may be derived from a sense of the gulf between the God of the philosophers and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Phenomenologists know that “talking about the believer’s putative encounter with God is not the same as encountering God.”  129   This contrast offers a significant distinction.

This is the same distinction I heard Mortimer Adler make when he told Bill Moyers that the God he “proved existed by logic wasn’t worth praying to.” It was Adler’s observation that the “leap of faith is going beyond argument.” This is what is unique about the Hebrew alternative. The question is simply this: how do you respond to truth if you do not (a) provide a formally valid proof from universally self-evident premises, (b) deduce from pure reason some imperative, or (c) launch into a description of the observable phenomena? The answer to this question is a key point in this essay. It marks the direction for linking scholarship to humility.

Consider This Alternative

One way to respond to truth, other than or in addition to the the three alternatives in the foregoing question, is to acknowledge a higher power that transcends man and nature. Immediately this introduces the possibility of humility rather than hubris as an inherent foundation for motives in scholarship. Absent this recognition, the search for humility becomes much more difficult.

Acknowledging that we stand in the presence of such a power does not mean we must claim the authority or the responsibility to be an apostle or a prophet. Rather it means we recognize our finite relationship to the Creator’s handiwork, humankind, and acknowledge the superiority of infinite knowledge to our own finite views.

For example, Kierkegaard “sought to hear God’s truth in a personal way and then pass it on, albeit without authority, in an equally personal way. It is not surprising that this is precisely the alternative that Socrates chose over Gorgias’ rhetoric.”  130  The Hebrew prophet, like Socrates, does not take a scientific stance, not even as a phenomenologist “of the word of the Lord. That word has come to [him] too personally and directly” to treat it objectively. He simply accepts and then delivers the message in a “personal, untimely, political, and eschatological” manner. He presents himself as a particular person “addressing a specific audience in a particular situation.”  131  There is no attempt to assume that objective, scientific position Thomas Nagel calls “the view from nowhere.”  132

This may not be a popular position; the performance of pride in the face of humility is seldom docile. It has led to the killing of many prophets, and as Harold Ravitch notes, it contributed to the death of Socrates. Socrates, states Ravitch, chose to listen to the divine “voice” despite the fact that this listening caused “his speech and demeanor to antagonize the jury and aggravate the prejudice against” him.  133  Loyalty to humility in scholarship may require a high price.

Scholars in this mode would understand the message they want to deliver but would not pretend to know of themselves, to claim that what they know is due to their own wisdom. They will seek to obtain understanding, but not to ascribe unto themselves all the credit for the knowledge they receive. The scholar’s personal ownership in this pattern is simply the responsibility to share the knowledge they have received with others, free of coercion, permitting them to accept or reject the offering. This perception of scholarship provides a foundation for humility; scholarship that is rooted solely in human power and knowledge does not. This position also allows the scholar to be a scholar within the religious order held to be most primary in his or her personal life.

The critical factor is one’s personal orientation. Always we derive perspective from some referent. Temporal referents alone are incapable of inducing humility simply because they are finite. They may sustain deference, but not humility. Spiritual referents, by contrast, are capable of inducing humility, if we so desire, because they are infinite. No form of scholarly endeavor can be truly humble as long as the contextual belief system ascribes the ultimate source of power in that endeavor solely to mankind. This is why “rhetoric . . . is . . . a form of flattery, . . . [and] in order to win the agreement of the crowd and in this case give the appearance of being scientific, [it] resorts to flattery by appealing to the preferences of the audience.”  134  Flattery is telling people what they want to hear; it is born of pride and perpetuates pride. Such rhetoric is a major flaw in contemporary scholarship. As Brigham Young observed, “When a man is proud and arrogant, flattery fills him with vanity and injures him; but it is not so when he is increasing in the faith of God [i.e., humility].”  135

The philosophical significance of the loyalty question in scholarship can be illustrated by recognizing the historical difference between talent and genius. I believe that the current view of these terms is a direct result of the narrow definition of scholarship that envelopes us. A specific example is John F. Gardner’s treatment of this difference: “It is generally assumed [by modernists] that while every child possesses some talent, genius can be ascribed to very few.” Gardner contends that this is the reason “the development of talent rather than genius has become the goal of education.” He argues that this is a reversal of “the true order of things, turning them upside down, to the harm of society as well as of the individual.”  136  More than a century ago Ralph Waldo Emerson called attention to this inversion as he wrestled with the nature of scholarship; arguing that a person’s “health and greatness consist in his being the channel through which heaven flows to earth.” He concluded that collective humanity is dependent on “genius not talent; hope, and not possession. . .” Mankind does not control elusive truth. “There is the incoming or the receding of God: that is all that we can affirm; and we can show neither how nor why.” And when the scholar, as a receptive agent, ceases to experience the incoming of the super-incumbant spirit and notes only its receding there is an inevitable dimming of the intellect.  137

In the original sense of the word, genius was not considered as restricted to a few, but was the rightful possession of all individuals. The Oxford Universal Dictionary, for example, defines the ancient view of genius as “an attendant spirit allotted to every person at his birth to preside over his destiny in life.” Gardner emphasizes that the similarity among “Greek, Roman, Arabian, and Hebrew views of genius is much greater than their difference.” Expanding on this definition, he writes:

For all these peoples, genius was the norm, as well as the crown, of full human development. Genius was the spiritual possibility of every man. It was not, however, a natural endowment but a supernatural grace, even the greatest talent. Thus for ancient man, genius was an agency of the divine spirit that descended upon him from above; while for modern man genius is no more than a name for a human talent raised to its highest degree.  138

I agree with Gardner when he says that for a person to prepare so that genius can work within, the individual must first acquire confidence in the existence of an order of being higher than self. Then the seeker of genius “must develop obedience . . . and humility.” When this does not occur, he says, “ambition, pride, and self-will cut the soul off from its divine source.” He believes there is ample evidence to show that the pagan idea of immortal genius and the Christian idea of divine grace are very closely related. “Both acknowledge: ‘It is the Lord that doeth the work.’ . . . Both seek perfection of the earthly vessel.” Despite “certain differences, the Christian saint and the pagan hero are much alike,” Gardner claims. They both act for the benefit of humanity,  139  and I would add they both demand a broad rather than narrow definition of scholarship.

Until the twentieth century, the ancient view of genius had a place in our schools and among our scholars. Genius had little to do, specifically, with the intellect. It had more to do with the heart and will. Its workings depended more on the development of character than on the abilities or talents with which the person was endowed at birth. “Indeed,” Gardner says, genius “withdrew from the person who was pleased with his outstanding endowment, while it approached the person who knowing how inadequate his own faculties were, yet continued with compassion and valor to do what he could for his fellow man.”  140  Here is the foundation for loyalty in scholarship. Here is the foundation for true self-discipline. As Gardner argues, it is impossible to conceive of self-discipline, in any real sense, without the idea of a purpose that resides outside the self to motivate control.

The paradoxes of progress in modern society must become ever more outrageous, until men make the free choice to live from this higher source within themselves. We are being taught by events that it takes genius simply to live well the ordinary life of man. There is no man so poorly endowed that he cannot achieve the good he truly wants, if he will acknowledge the self above his self and invite that being to overshadow his life.  141

I conclude this section of the monograph with a like observation: There is no scholar or body of scholars so well endowed that they can safely serve humankind, or that nature which sustains the human family, while ignoring loyalty to the foundations of humility and spending themselves in a lifelong affair with hubris. There is a much better option, but it requires a type of courage from those who adopt it that is not typical in academic circles. This courage is manifest as personal valiance. It is loyalty to a context of meaning that transcends the systems that govern the “perks” of a particular discipline or the indulgence of personal ego. It fosters humility in perception and a spirit of service in performance.


Part V

Postscript:  A Careful Look in a Clean Mirror


The Carnegie Report on scholarship, in its brief historical description of American scholarly activity, acknowledges the existence of three different personal dispositions or motives: (1) striving to “bring redemptive light to all mankind,” (2) being “responsible for . . . intellectual, moral, and spiritual development,” (3) questing for money and recognition—e. g., my “degree [from] Harvard College is worth money to me in Chicago.”  142  The report quickly drifts away from the implications of these motives, however, and slips into a preoccupation with the objectives of scholarship and how to relate these objectives to the frustrations within the scholarly professions and the needs of a secularized but diverse democracy. The objectives described are (1) “building character and preparing . . . civic and religious leadership,” (2) providing service in the form of “applied research” that can build the nation’s economy, (3) publishing “basic research” that expands the borders of knowledge, thereby insuring the “health, prosperity and security of America in the modern world.”  143  Abandoning the centrality of the first three motives and substituting the three flossy objectives is, in my view, a major strategical error. Or, it was a very clever move—depending on one’s basic commitments. This shift in emphasis certainly validates the description provided in this essay regarding the current state of scholarship and its application in our contemporary society.

The discussion in the Carnegie report is an intensive examination of scholarship within the current secular paradigm. Transcendent themes, although parenthetically mentioned, are lost in a preoccupation with how to legitimize a broader application of already secularized scholarly practices. It seems ironic that Boyer and Rice, who are calling for a more expansive definition of scholarship, would fail to build on the initial spiritual motives for scholarship which they acknowledge existed at America’s founding. I believe this is a substantial error and will prevent the development of important and needed changes in the disposition of scholars and their work. It makes the answers to the five questions posed at the beginning of this monograph seem even more discomforting. (1) Scholars are most often pawns and players rather than free agents. (2) The paradigm for modern scholarship is too restrictive. (3) The scholarly atmosphere is polluted by the religious fervor of secularism and the prideful (hubritic) attitudes it fosters. (4) Humility is not the cornerstone of our contemporary learned academy. (5) The cumulative affect of these forces are deconstructing the nature of education and confusing the purpose of schooling.

Manipulating applications of scholarly tools within the narrow secular paradigm will not solve the problems we face. This is clearly evident at Brigham Young University, the University of Notre Dame, and other institutions of higher learning that proclaim a greater spiritual mission and then conform to a scholarly process that denies or ignores the relevance of the spiritual.  144  Acceptance of a broad-based definition of scholarship which includes the faithful tradition certainly is not evident in the environment or the language, topics, and publications that dominate the practice of scholarship in these institutions. The modern secular paradigm prevails, and it is this paradigm that must be modified or replaced. And we must be more forthright in clarifying this need. Building on Boyer’s initial observations, I suggest the following description of scholarly intents as a useful perspective for self-assessment—a type of careful look in a clean mirror.

Intents of Scholars

Three distinct dispositions characterize the intent of scholarly practice—as in all of life. (I recognize that calling attention to, let alone applying, categories as proximate standards is disturbing to moral relativists who dislike imperative hierarchies of value.) These contrasting dispositions, however, viewed through the lens of lived lives are graphic and significant.

First, there are scholars who expend themselves in searches that lubricate the gears of a telestial society—a society that distances itself from higher order principles and altruistic attitudes. They may give little thought to the ultimate consequences of their work beyond the immediacy of the search and the anticipated rewards expected from a society geared to the present—the here and now. This view has been characterized by a mentality of eat, drink, and be merry because tomorrow we die and shall exist no more. Productivity in this context can be impressive; hunger for power, recognition, comfort, and gratification may be a source of intense personal motivation. Remarkable physical discoveries and social developments have come to humanity from this competitive endeavor. Elitist patterns characterize communication in this environment; reinforcing the tendency to learn only from those in select circles. Pride prevails. The governing motives in this popular association was cryptically described by an ancient prophet who described the primary impulses that drive this elite and popular crowd: “And now, because of the glory of the world and to get gain” do they labor, “and not for the glory of God.”   145  Scholarly activity may flourish in such settings; it may contribute to physical comfort and social efficiency as well as causing counterproductive and destructive outcomes. This is evident.

A second dimension of life served by scholarship attracts those individuals who are committed to more than just seeking telestial truths; they strive to connect those truths to a moral ordera terrestrial but more responsible order of responsibility. These scholars recognize that submitting to principles that protect the rights and welfare of others as well as self is essential to the preservation of social order and the resources that sustain humanity. They strive to bridle their scholarly energy and direct it toward the fulfillment of some moral mission. Every age has its honorable men and women who speak out to the social intellect in a moral language. Greece had her Solon and Socrates, Rome its Marcus Aurelius and Cicero, and the modern age its Madam Curie, Schweitzer, and Mother Teresa. Those who sense a moral mission use personal sacrifice to rise above the rewards and recognition of the strictly utilitarian telestial order. When they pursue scholarship they do so in a different manner than the rank and file of researchers who bury themselves in the telestial system and the jargon of a professional vocabulary that operates essentially on the fuel of self interest.

Early in this century scholarly forces sought to discount the application of the moral disposition toward learning. Even the liberal progressive Woodrow Wilson expressed a warning.

Scholars who stick too closely to “the facts,” he said, will “miss the deepest facts of all, the spiritual experiences, the visions of the mind, the aspirations of the spirit that are the pulse of life.”   146  David Ricci has referred to the demise of this disposition to serve a moral order among political scholars as The Tragedy of Political Science. He cites changes in their research language as evidence of the change in focus. Old words “like ‘justice,”nation,’ ‘rights,’ ‘patriotic,’ ‘society,’ ‘virtue,’ and ‘tyranny,'” were replaced by new words such as “‘attitude,’cross-pressure,’ ‘conflict,’ ‘game,’ ‘interaction,’ ‘cognition,’ ‘socialization,’ and ‘system.'” In sum, Ricci says, “political studies suffer from overemphasizing science while paying insufficient attention to the realm of morals, where men may be impelled to behave well and inspired to resist wrongdoing.”  147  Humanity does need more scholars capable of operating in a moral context, but there is also a critical need for scholars who are capable of contributing to the search for truth at an even higher level.

A third type of scholar appears in the form of those who promise to use all their time, talent, and energy in preparing a generation to rear a generation who will accept the Creator of this earth when he comes to claim those who accepted his invitation to become one with him. For this segment of the scholarly enterprise, moral order is not enough; there is something more. The “more” is a matter of covenant. These scholars seek to be valiant. They recognize that allegiance is more than compliance because it is willful; more than attention because it is binding; more than interest because it requires an investment that elicits nurturing and protection. For them, it is insufficient to assume the attitude some have ascribed to Thomas Jefferson, i. e. that one’s deepest moral and spiritual commitment should remain professionally unexpressed and verbally unshared, displayed only in the deeds of one’s daily life. Rather, those who aspire to a celestial context of scholarship hold that the core of their belief system should be manifest “at all times, and in all things, and in all places”—not hidden “under a bushel.”  148  Without guile or insensitivity, rather with tact and consideration, this personal expression of commitment to a divine order is manifest for the purpose of contributing to the building of a greater cause than mere temporal improvement or a stronger moral order. Such scholars recognize that it is spiritually impossible to walk in the light while they pull the shades down.

Legitimizing all three levels of scholarly pursuit is the premier challenge for those who think and feel that scholarship is a significant contribution to the ultimate welfare of humanity; at present these three levels of scholarship are not all honored. Level one prevails, level two may be tolerated, level three tends to be excluded, ridiculed, and persecuted. Consequently, such scholarly investment is suffering and lacking. We are in great need of a capstone that will legitimize the search for and the discussion of matters that go far beyond the physical, measurable, and rhetorical dimensions of schooling. We are in need of scholarly endeavors in every discipline that consciously seeks to engage the Spirit of Deity in their scholarly endeavors. The price for success in this type of scholarly effort is really a matter of covenant consecration. It is truly self-less and service oriented.

Differing Patterns of Education

The foregoing dispositions of scholarship form the foundations for three different patterns of education. The first pattern is characterized by science. It is reason based, research centered, and politically flavored. The second pattern emerges from the humanities. It is tradition based, rhetoric centered, and philosophically flavored. The third pattern extends beyond the physical and humanistic. It is faith based, scripture centered, and research flavored. Rather than emphasizing philosophy mingled with scripture, the latter approach stresses the application of divine scripture mingled with research. Assumptions that drive scholarly activity come from somewhere and are extensions of something. Faith-based scholarship in any and every discipline recognizes the finite should not circumscribe and seek to dictate to the infinite.

Science and the humanities are important, useful, and necessary. The application of scholarly tools and processes in these fields are vital to the refinement of a civilized society. But they can carry the human cause only to limited heights; a greater vision is necessary to maximize human destiny. “Science is trustworthy as far as human senses and reason are trustworthy—no more.”  149  Spencer W. Kimball captured the spirit of this type of scholarship when he suggested that the highest quality of education occurs when every professor and teacher . . . keep[s] his subject matter bathed in the light and color of the restored gospel, and has all his subject matter perfumed lightly with the spirit of the Gospel. Always, there would be an essence and the student would feel the presence.”  150  Only when an atmosphere prevails that encourages this aroma in scholarly circles will scholarship find itself able to convey a sufficiently broad and healthy definition.

Contemporary society now confronts a growing conflict between what some have called modernist and post-modernist thought. Modernism: patterns of linear, information processing, reductionist theory have dominated our immediate past. This paradigm is now being challenged in nearly every field by complexity theory: non-linear, meaning-making patterns of thought. The definition and application of scholarship will be revisited in the coming decades. It is vital that this visit enhance rather than inhibit the ability of the Academy to serve the highest purposes and aims of education. It seems to me there is a mission here for the rising generation of Latter-day Saint scholars. At the very least we stand at a threshold which invites a serious discussion of (a) what scholarship is,

(b) should be, and (c) the way it shapes the various forms of education. A serious discussion such as this is now lacking; the resulting vacuum is an invitation for change—uncomfortable as that might be.

Joseph Smith Foundation

Joseph Smith Foundation

Joseph Smith Foundation is an organization focused on supporting and contributing to projects founded in the words of Jesus Christ.Our motto is “Vision in Light of the Restoration”.Joseph Smith advanced a literal interpretation of scripture and confirmation of the truths taught in the Bible. He taught that a restoration of the doctrine and Church established and led by Jesus Christ was necessary in the latter days as it was in the former ages of the earth. Revelation was the rock foundation of all lasting accomplishment. Currently, Joseph Smith Foundation is the umbrella for the following organizational divisions, each based on the above principles: Joseph Smith Academy, Joseph Smith Forum, ZionVision and LDS Answers.
Joseph Smith Foundation

Latest posts by Joseph Smith Foundation (see all)


  1. B. F. Skinner About Behaviorism , Alfred A Knopf, 1974. p. 225.
  2. Michael Polanyi Personal Knowledge, University of Chicago Press, 1962.  p. 300.
  3. Joseph Fielding Smith Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., Salt Lake City,:  Bookcraft, 1954-56.  1:147.
  4. Doctrine and Covenants 95:5–6
  5. Isaiah 59:10
  6. 6 Hebrews 11:1
  7. Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38.
  8. 2 Nephi 28:14, 31.
  9. J. Reuben Clark, Jr. The Charted Course of the Church in Education (A discourse delivered August 8, 1938 at Aspen Grove, Provo, Utah
  10. “Changing Patterns of Scholarship as Seen from the Center for Hellenic Studies”,  American Journal of Philology Vol. 111, No. 2, p. 257.
  11. Bette Denich “On the Bureaucratization of Scholarship in American Anthropology”, Dialectical Anthropology Vol. 2, No. 2, May pp. 153-157. (Review citation Silver Platter 3.11, Sociofile (1974-
  12. see e. g. The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 16, 1993 pp. 21-26 for current record setting, congressional pork barrel appropriations–763 million dollars; also Martin Anderson, Imposters in the Temple:  American Intellectuals are Destroying Our Universities and Cheating Our Students of Their Future New York:
  13. Ibid. pp. 133-193; see also Anthony Grafton, Forgers and Critics: Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship, CHECK THIS CITATION ; Douglas W. Cooper “Unethical Scholarship Today: A Preliminary Typology” (A paper presented at the Humanities, Science, and Technology Conference, Big Rapids,
  14. This theme of broadening the definition of scholarship is pushed further in the follow-up work by Ernest Boyer and R. Eugene Rice. The New American Scholar –(forthcoming 1992 or 1993) see “Rethinking What It Means To Be a Scholar” ERIC, OERI.  Filmed Nov. 27, 1991. The problem here as elswhere, however, is that the entire discussion takes place in a secular framework that is restrictive by definition. Simply adapting scholarship to a secularized democracy by appealing to the argument of diversity fails to provide for those who desire and acknowledge the mantic rather.
  15. Charles Colson “Can We Be Good Without God”, Imprimis April, 1993 Vol. 22, No. 4. p.3.
  16. President Kimball Speaks Out, p. 92. [NEED MORE COMPLETE CITATION]
  17. Moses 5:13; Alma 42:10. (Italics added).
  18. cf. Mosiah 24:4–7 and any modern public school course of study.
  19. Moses 6:27–28; 5:25.
  20. Alma 30:37; 30:28.
  21. 2 Nephi 27:25.
  22. 2 Nephi 2 8:4-5. See also Peter Angeles , Critiques of God. Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books
  23. 2 Nephi 28:21–22.
  24. Alma 30:17–18.
  25. John Talyor The Gospel Kingdom Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1943. p. 47.
  26. Joseph F. Smith Gospel Doctrine pp. 270-271.
  27. Daedalus, Summer 1974.
  28. Ibid. pp. 21-22.
  29. Ibid. pp. 28-29.
  30. John Locke Thoughts on Education Item #190.
  31. Francis Bacon, Novum Organum Book I:93,125.
  32. Arthur M. Abell Talks with Great Composers, p. 5.
  33. Ibid. p. 4
  34. Ibid. p. 84.
  35. Ibid. p. 116.
  36. Ibid. p. 86.
  37. Ibid. p. 21.
  38. Geiringer, Haydn, 1946. p. 144.
  39. Will Durant The Story of Philosophy , 2nd ed. (New York:  Simon and Schuster Inc., 1926), xxiii.
  40. Ibid., xxv-xxix.
  41. C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory     (Grand Rapids, Mich.:  Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1965), 50-51
  42. A trilogy of books exemplify the changes in how we have described science. See Herbert Feigle and May Brodbeck (eds.) Readings in the Philosophy of Science (New York: Appleton, Century, and Crofts Inc., 1953; Frederick Suppe (ed.) The Structure of Scientific Theories (University of Illinois Press, 1977); Richard Boyd, Philip Gasper, and J. D. Trout The Philosophy of Science (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1991) for documents that chart the rise and demise of positivism. Examples of the ripple effect of the modernist/postmodernist debate can be seen in most current literature, for example see: Huston Smith, Beyond the Post-Modern Mind (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1982); Darwin L. Thomas and H. Bruce Roghaar, “Post-positivist Theorizing: The Case of Religion and the Family,” in Jetse Sprey, ed., Fashioning Family Theory: New Approaches (Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990), chapter 6, pp. 136-170; N. L. Gage “The Paradigm Wars and their Aftermath: A ‘Historical’ Sketch of Research on Teaching Since 1989” Educational Researcher, vol. 18, no. 7, October 1989. p. 4; Earnest R. House “Realism in Research” Educational Researcher vol. 20, no. 6, August-September 1991; Neil J. Flinders Restorationist Views the Modernist/Post-modernist Debate” Philosophy of Education Proceedings, (FWPES) 1990, pp. 123-133.
  43. Jean Danielou, God and the Ways of Knowing (New York:  Meridian Books Inc., 1957) is an example of acknowledging various vertical manifestations of knowledge—in this case of Deity and His works. This Danielou explores the God of the religions, of the philosophers, of faith, of Jesus Christ, of the Church, and of the Mystics.
  44. Michael Polanyi Personal Knowledge (Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1958) chapters 5 and 6.
  45. Joseph L. Featherstone, Introduction, in Bruce A. Kimball, Orators and Philosophers (New York: Teachers College Press, 1986), ix-x.
  46. Rudolf Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), 3. 
  47.  It is noteworthy to add that Giorgio de Santillana calls the early Greek forms of science “scientific religions” and implies that conflicts would be natural between such religions. This may also help explain why later “sciences” consider departures from their doctrines as heresies. Giorgio de Santillana, The Origins of Scientific Thought: From Anaxamander to Proclus, 600 B.C. – 500 A.D. (New York: Mentor, 1961), 285-286.
  48. Pfeiffer, 163.
  49. Ibid., l66.
  50. Ibid., 173.
  51. Noah Porter, cited in Louise L. Stevenson, Scholarly Means to Evangelical Ends   (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), 30-39.
  52. Ralph Waldo Emerison, “The American Scholar,” in American Prose & Poetry, ed. Normal Foerster (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957), 486.
  53. see Merton M. Sealts, Jr. Emerson on the Scholar, Columbia, Missouri:  University of Missouri Press, 1992, for a treatment of Emerson as a scholar.
  54. Featherstone, x-xi.
  55. Ibid, xi-xii
  56. Peter Shaw, “The Dark Ages of the Humanities,” The Intercollegiate Review (Fall, 1987): vol. 22, 12.
  57. Peter Shaw, “The Dark Ages of the Humanities,” The Intercollegiate Review (Fall, 1987): vol. 22, 12.
  58. W. Warren Wager, World Views:  A Study in Comparative History   (New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1977), 1-2.
  59. Ibid. p. 2.
  60. John Locke, cited by  Lynchburg College, Education:   Ends and Means, Symposium Readings, Classical Selections on Great Issues, series 1, vol. 2 (New York:  University Press of America, 1980) 440.
  61. Theodore Roszak, “The Monster and the Titan: Science, Knowledge, and Gnosis,” Daedalus, (Summer, 1974), vol. 103, 21-22, 28-29.
  62. Ibid., 18-24.
  63. Locke cited by Lynchburg College, Classical Selections on Great Issues, vol II, p. 440.
  64. W.P.D. Wightman, Science and the Renaissance, vol. 1, 6-7, 302-304.
  65. D.J. Wilcox,   In Search of God and Self, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1975 and Henry Acton in his Religious Opinions and Example of Milton, Locke and Newton  151Henry Acton, Religious Opinions and Example of Milton, Locke and Newton, (New York: AMS Press, 1973)
  66. Luke 11:52; Matt. 13:14; 2 Nephi 31:3.
  67. Philip E. Hammond (editor) The Sacred in a Secular Age (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985) p. 1.
  68. Ibid. pp. 2-3.
  69. Georgio de Santillana The Origins of Scientific Thought: From Anaximander to Proclus, 600 B. C.–500 A. D. (New York:  Mentor, 1961) pp. 285-286.
  70. Karl R. Popper “Science: Problems, Aims, Responsibilities” Federation Proceedings (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Supplement no. 13, vol. 22, March-December, 1963. p. 961.
  71.  John Dewey Reconstruction in Philosophy (Boston: Beacon Press, 1948) p.38
  72. Robert Nisbet The Social Philosophers (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell and Co., 1973) pp. 239-240.
  73. August Comte A General View of Positivism, from European Philosophies: From Descartes to Nietzche, (New York: Modern Library, 1960) p.755.
  74. John Dewey A Common Faith (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1934) pp. 1-2.
  75. Ernest Boyer Scholarship Reconsidered, Princeton, New Jersey: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990, p. 13.
  76. W. T. Stace Religion and the Modern Mind (New York: J. P. Lippincott, 1960) p. 10
  77. Philip E. Hammond (editor) The Sacred in a Secular Age (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985) p. 105.
  78.  see full discussion in Clifford Geertz Islam Observed (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968
  79. Thomas F. Torrance Transformation and Convergence in the Frame of Knowledge (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1984) pp. 193-195.
  80. Robert N. Proctor Value-Free Science? (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991) pp. 135-136.
  81. Frederick J. Streng et. al. Ways of Being Religious (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1973) p. 6. A discussion of definitions for religion is offered by William B. Williamson who concludes that five criteria may apply in defining religion. He offers as a universal definition the following: “Religion is the acceptance of a belief or a set of beliefs that exceed mundane matters and concerns; the commitment to a morality or the involvement in a lifestyle resulting from those beliefs; and the psychological conviction which motivates the relation of belief and morality in everyday living and consistent behavior.” see pp. 30-31 of Decisions in Philosophy of Religion (New York: Prometheus Books, 1984). A legal definition of religion is offered in U. of Chicago, Law Review 533, 550-51 (1965).
  82. David W. Lutz “Can Notre Dame Be Saved?,” First Things, January 1992 pp. 35-40.
  83. Steven M. Cahn (ed.) Philosophy of Religion (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1970) p. 391.
  84. William B. Williamson, Decisions in Philosophy of Religion (New York: Prometheus Books, 1984) p. 161.
  85. Acts 17:15–34
  86. John Dewey     A Common Faith (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1934) pp. 38-39.
  87. August Comte A General View of Positivism, from European Philosophies:   From Descartes to Nietzche, (New York: Modern Library, 1960) p.753.
  88. Nora Barlow The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (New York:  Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1958) pp. 237, 86-87.
  89. Julian Huxley Religion Without Revelation (London: C. A. Watts & Co., 1967) p. 2-4.
  90. Albert Einstein Out of My Later Years (New York: Philosophical Library, 1950) see pp. 29-33 for expanded discussion.
  91. Julian Huxley Religion Without Revelation (London: C. A. Watts & Co., 1967) pp. 6-7.
  92. John Dewey, A Common Faith, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934. p. 48, 51. cf. Doctrine and Covenants 1:15-16; Romans 1:21–32.
  93. Emile Durkheim The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (New York:  Collier Books, 1961) p. 245.
  94. Carl A. Raschke et. al. Ways of Being Religious (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentic-Hall Inc., 1973) p. 6.
  95. See Torcaso v. Watkins 367 U.S. 488,495, n. 11 (1961) and Larkin v. Grendel’s Den Inc., 459 U. S. 116, 121 (1982).
  96. Edward Harrison Masks of the Universe (New York:  Macmillan, 1985) p. 3.
  97. From Man and Crises, quoted in George Charles Roche III The Bewildered Society (N. Y.: Arlington House, 1972) p. 11.
  98. Richard M. Weaver Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965) pp. 10-11.
  99. Ibid. p. 2.
  100. Paige Smith Killing the Spirit (New York: Viking Penguin, 1990) p. 294.
  101. Garry Wills Under God:   Religion and American Politics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990) p. 15 states that such assertions are distortions of the facts. In academic circles and consequently among the media, it is a common but misleading supposition. Wills tells another story, arguing that “it seems careless for scholars to keep misplacing such a large body of people.”
  102. Holy Bible (KJV), Joshua 24:15.
  103. John Dewey “Education as a Religion” The New Republic, August 1922. p. 64. He also called his pedagogy a “Creed.”
  104. Alfred North Whitehead The Aims of Education (New York: Mentor Books, 1952) p. 26.
  105. Walter Lippmann, A Preface to Morals (New York: MacMillan Company, 1929) p. 31.
  106. George Sheehan, Running and Being (New York: Warner Books, 1978) p. 65.
  107. James Turner, Without God, Without Creed (Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985) p. 266.
  108. as quoted by Dave Dodson “The University as Church” The Daily Californian, Wednesday April 16, 1969.
  109. Dave Dodson The Daily Californian, Friday May 29, 1970.
  110. James Davison Hunter, Culture Wars, New York: Basic Books, 1991
  111. Philip E. Hammond (editor) The Sacred in a Secular Age, Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1985, p. 1. 
  112. Rudolph Pfeiffer History of Classical Scholarship, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968, p. 17.
  113. Curtis Wright The Oral Antecedents of Greek Librarianship, Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1977, p.
  114. Martin Anderson Imposters in the Temple:  American Intellectuals Are Destroying our Universities and Cheating Our Students of their Future New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992, p. 26.
  115. Ibid. p. 26.
  116. cited by Christina Sommers and Fred Sommers Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1993, p. 221. 
  117. W. T. Jones The Classical Mind New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1952, 1969, p. 268.
  118. Christina Sommers and Fred Sommers Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1993, p.219.
  119. Ibid. p. 319.
  120. Ibid. p. 321. 
  121. Ibid. p. 321 
  122. Ibid. p. 323
  123. Ibid. p. 324-325
  124. Ibid. p. 325
  125. Merold Westphal Kierkegaard’s Critique of Reason and Society, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1987. 
  126. Ibid. p. 2. 
  127. Ibid. p. 3. 
  128. Ibid. pp. 7-8. 
  129. Ibid. pp. 7-8. 
  130. Ibid. p. 13. 
  131. Ibid. pp. 11-12 
  132. Thomas Nagel The View from Nowhere New York:  Oxford University Press, 1986.
  133. Harold Ravitch “Agana belea and the Death of Socrates” Philosophy of Education Proceedings (FWPES), 1992.
  134. Merold Westphal Kierkegaard’s Critique of Reason and Society, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1987, p. 6. 
  135. Discourses of Brigham Young, chapt. 20. p. ???.
  136. John F. Gardner The Experience of Knowledge, New York: Waldorf Press, 1975, p. 103.
  137. Merton M. Sealts Jr., Emerson on the Scholar University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, 1992. p. 142. 
  138. John F. Gardner The Experience of Knowledge, New York: Waldorf Press, 1975, pp. 106-107. Emphasis added.
  139. Ibid. p. 108 
  140. Ibid. p. 108. 
  141. Ibid. p. 110-111.
  142. Earnest Boyer Scholarship Reconsidered, Princeton, N. J.:  The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990. pp. 3-5.
  143. Ibid., pp. 3-11.
  144. There are deepfelt conflicts within the communities of these institutions. See for example, Erich Robert Paul Science, Religion and Mormon Cosmology, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992; David W. Lutz “Can Notre Dame Be Saved?” First Things, Issue 19 (Jan. 1992) pp. 35-40; Joel A. Carpenter and Kenneth W. Shipps (editors) Making Higher Education Christian: The History and Mission of Evangelical Colleges in America, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1987.
  145. 2 Nephi 27:16.
  146. Woodrow Wilson “The Law and the Facts” American Political Science Review (Feb. 1911) p. 2 .
  147. David Ricci The Tragedy of Political Science Yale University Press, 1987 pp. 299, 305.
  148. Mosiah 18:9; Matt. 5:13–16.
  149. John A. Widstoe Evidences and Reconciliations, 3 vols. Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1943. p. 1:129.
  150. “Education for Eternity” Pre-school address, Brigham Young University, September 12, 1967. p.

Joseph Smith Foundation

Joseph Smith Foundation is an organization focused on supporting and contributing to projects founded in the words of Jesus Christ. Our motto is “Vision in Light of the Restoration”. Joseph Smith advanced a literal interpretation of scripture and confirmation of the truths taught in the Bible. He taught that a restoration of the doctrine and Church established and led by Jesus Christ was necessary in the latter days as it was in the former ages of the earth. Revelation was the rock foundation of all lasting accomplishment. Currently, Joseph Smith Foundation is the umbrella for the following organizational divisions, each based on the above principles: Joseph Smith Academy, Joseph Smith Forum, ZionVision and LDS Answers.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *