Christianity and the University Experience
Understanding Student Faith
This item is a print on demand title and will be dispatched in 1-3 weeks.
Paperback / softback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
What impact does the experience of university have on Christian students? Are universities a force for secularisation? Is student faith enduring, or a passing phase? Universities are often associated with a sceptical attitude towards religion. Many assume that academic study leads students away from any existing religious convictions, heightening the appeal of a rationalist secularism increasingly dominant in wider society. And yet Christianity remains highly visible on university campuses and continues to be a prominent identity marker in the lives of many students. Analysing over 4,000 responses to a national survey of students and nearly 100 interviews with students and those working with them, this book examines Christianity in universities across England. It explores the beliefs, values and practices of Christian students. It reveals how the university experience influences their Christian identities, and the influence Christian students have upon university life. Christianity and the University Experience makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the survival and evolution of religion in the contemporary world. It offers fresh insights relevant to those working with Christian students, including churches, chaplaincies and student organisations, as well as policy-makers and university managers interested in the significance of religion for education, social responsibility and social cohesion.
Drawing on original research, this book recalls us to a society - and its universities - which is not only full of religious beliefs, rituals, practices and identities, despite the assumptions of secularism, but full of lived Christianity in particular, which often goes unheard. It is a timely rejoinder to the idea of religion as 'minority' and 'problem' and, through its examination of the students who will be tomorrow's leaders, professionals and thinkers, sets religious identity firmly in the context of society at large. -- Adam Dinham, Professor of Faith & Public Policy, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK Is the notion of a 'Christian student' an oxymoron? Anyone tempted to answer 'yes' should read this impeccably researched book, which informs and intrigues in equal measure. It is clear that Christian students not only exist but come in many shapes and sizes - as indeed do universities. -- Grace Davie, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Exeter, UK A remarkable study of university students' negotiation of Christian identity, religious organizations, and university life. Highly recommended. -- Tim Clydesdale, Professor of Sociology, The College of New Jersey, USA This study of the religious experience of Christian students at universities in England is both surprising and most welcome. Surprising, because after almost 60 years of propaganda about the decline of religious faith, one does not expect to find a wide-ranging investigation as specific as this one...most welcome because empirical information carefully gleaned can only promote understanding in the ideological battleground between the die-hard secularists who seem to dominate the academy and the believers (by virtue of their faith deemed ipso facto biased) who appear reactionary and overly defensive... While the authors seek simply to present a snapshot, they do promise to build up to a longitudinal study, which can only add value to our thinking about this important cultural issue. I look forward to the next piece in this jigsaw. -- Gerald J. Pillay, Liverpool Hope University Times Higher Education Supplement 20130912 A book of breadth and therefore essential reading for all who wish to grapple with religious student life; it is also a book of depth and asks awkward questions; it is also a book of thoroughness in both the research and its evaluation. Not to be missed for those engaged in "understanding student faith" - the book's sub-title. FutureFirst 20131201 The book offers a timely and provocative contribution to the wider debate today about religion/faith and young people and about religion in the modern world. This means the book will interest people beyond the university and academic field ... A lot of evidence here to think about and challenge us for the future. -- Dr Stuart Hannabuss Network This handsome book is one of the early fruits of the UK's "Religion and Society" programme of research. Its analysis of more than 4,000 responses to a national survey and close to 100 interviews with a variety of informants in a sample of English universities is a model of methodological rigour. More importantly, its findings call in question many popular assumptions both about students and about their highly varied practice of the Christian faith. No doubt, English universities are breeding grounds for indifference to religion but they can also foster some hidden as well as open expressions of Christianity. Now I'm eager for someone to conduct a companion study of students' involvement in religions other than Christianity. -- James Beckford Religion and Diversity Project [Christianity and the University Experience] is the first project of this scale to thoroughly investigate the ways in which Christianity is experienced and lived by university students, and its conclusions are enlightening and provocative in equal measure. Big assumptions which many of us make instinctively about this subject are rigorously tested against empirical data. Many of them will need to be seriously rethought in the wake of this book. I would strongly recommend the book for anyone with an interest in the modern university or modern Christianity, or indeed anyone who wishes to be involved with the conversation on these topics. -- Jem Bloomfield Quiteirregular