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ERIC Number: ED449769
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Nov
Pages: 38
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Intentional, Inadvertent, or Inevitable? James Burrill Angell and Secularization at the University of Michigan.
Bouman, Jeffrey Paul
The history of James Burrill Angell as the president of the University of Michigan presents a case study of the role of 19th century liberal Protestant university builders in the eventual marginalization of religion from the mainstream of U.S. higher education. Angell's tenure, which began in 1871, encompassed the period in which the modern university became secular. The University of Michigan appears to have been a leader in the secularization process, and the study of Angell's role is illustrative of the changes taking place. Angell's own devout and personal adherence to the dominant Protestant culture of his day, liberalism, gave him great faith in the goodness of society, and especially in the goodness of the faculty. His unwavering belief in the desire and ability of Christian faculty to infuse their disciplines with their Christian faith did not foresee the eventual transition to a faculty whose personal faith systems were not orthodox or urgent. To this end, his agency in secularization was a combination of intentionality, inadvertence, and inevitability. His original intention of making the university representative of a Christianity more "true" than the traditional belief system through liberal practices, was succeeded by a period of the inadvertent allowance of secular ideas. The eventual dominance of the secular troubled Angell later in life as he called again for a strong, liberal, Christian influence in the university. (Contains 48 endnotes.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A