Academia may be the hardest place to be “people of faith.” “Much as we’d like to pretend otherwise, most colleges are communities where diversity is not as diverse as we’d like to think,” Carla Arnell writes in The Chronicle Review.
Arnell penned an essay for the Chronicle entitled “An Academic Among the Pews.” “Colleges may boast of anti-elitism by espousing the destruction of traditional canons of literature or by the teaching of Marxist paradigms in the classroom, but how many of those anti-elitist academics fraternize with someone who is not an intellectual?” she asks. “Likewise, my congregation unites young and old in a way that is rare in the youth-centered world of academe—a place where people start impatiently tapping their toes and checking the retirement clock as soon as colleagues pass 60.”
“Often the only elderly who matter are alums with the means to donate.” Arnell is an associate professor of English at Lake Forest College.
“Maybe there’s some value in tracing the words of those who have gone before and being reminded that, as diverse as our identities are, we share such common human experiences as childbirth, friendship, love, suffering, and death.” Maybe there is.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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