ERIC Number: ED352872
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Dec-13
The Scholarly Atmosphere: A Magnificent Deception?
Flinders, Neil J.
This paper offers a critique of western culture's use and abuse of scholarly traditions and activities through secularization. The paper argues that scholarly activity is connected to forms that tend to function as "religion" and that modern academe refuses to acknowledge the forms as a kind of secular religion, thereby promoting a subtle self-deception. The paper expands on this thesis by developing a definition of religion as a system of basic beliefs which constitute a formative world view, a psychological commitment by an individual or community of supportive believers to this belief, a pattern of moral practice resulting from adherence to this belief, and an ethic which provides a means toward ultimate transformation. Further it is argued that this definition includes equally traditional religions and secular belief systems that function as religions. The paper goes on to look at universities as they function as "religious centers" and to analyze belief systems as scholarly traditions. A concluding section argues that academic disciplines have assumed the role of religion in the lives of modernists and post modernists and that the modern sects now dominate the public power structure through schools and professional organizations. (Contains 41 references.) (JB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A