The study of religion in American higher education is fraught with difficulties that raise important questions about the nature of faith and the purpose of advanced learning. Although religion has been foundational to some of the United States' most prestigious universities, religious studies is a relatively recent addition to the liberal arts curriculum. As a result, students often take courses in religion with expectations that exceed what professors can actually deliver. D. G. Hart explores the conundrums of the ambiguous position of religious studies in the academy and offers advice about the best way to approach and benefit from the teaching and study of religion in contexts often hostile to faith.
D. G. Hart is Director of Fellowship Programs and Scholar-in-Residence at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He has served for many years as a Christian college administrator and professor of church history. Among his several books are: The University Gets Religion: Religious Studies and American Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002); The Lost Soul of American Protestantism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004); and That Old-Time Religion in Modern America: Evangelical Protestants in the Twentieth Century (Ivan R. Dee, 2002).