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Quality with Soul: How Six Premier Colleges and Universities Keep Faith with Their Religious Traditions Paperback – March 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In The Paradoxical Vision: A Public Theology for the Twenty-First Century, Benne decried the marginalization of religion in American life. Here the well-known professor of religion (Roanoke Coll.) laments the secularization of many fine colleges and universities with religious origins. Some institutions became nonsectarian to emphasize their intellectual and democratic qualities, while others abrogated religious content to qualify for federal funds or to bolster enrollment. Benne blames uncommitted board members and faculty for allowing their schools' heritage to be diminished or eliminated. He then describes six institutions that have admirably maintained their religious traditions: Calvin College, Wheaton College, St. Olaf College, Valparaiso University, Baylor University, and the University of Notre Dame. The concluding chapters analyze the factors that have allowed these schools to resist trends toward secularization and suggest strategies that others might use to recover their eroded past. Highly recommended for its thorough research and thoughtful presentation. Will Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Robert Benne (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is Jordan-Trexler Professor Emeritus and research associate at Roanoke College. He founded the Roanoke College Center for Religion in 1982 and is the author of twelve books includingGood and Bad Ways to Think About Religion and Politics, Reasonable Ethics, andA Christian Approach to Social, Economic, and Political Concerns.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802847048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802847041
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Logan Simmons on June 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Benne takes six universities (Calvin, Wheaton, Baylor, Notre Dame, St. Olaf, and Valparaiso), and examines the paths these schools have taken in trying to establish the highest educational quality while maintaining their Christian soul.

What makes this book interesting is to see the different approaches that the schools have taken to tackle certain difficulties (i.e. should we require a certain percentage of students/faculty to come from our denominational/theological background, what kind of relationship should we have with our sponsoring religious tradition, how should we encourage our students to participate in the religious life of the university, etc.). I went to Baylor myself, and it was cool to see how my school differed from other prominent Christian institutions in shaping school policy.

The only criticism I have of Quality with Soul is that it is at some points dull, and at times difficult to get through. But perhaps that is because: 1) I am not a scholar; and 2) Benne doesn't deviate from what he sets out to do.
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