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Religion and the University

By Fr. Wilson (articles ) | Jun 07, 2003

I did not realize that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the nation's oldest institution of higher learing, but apparently it is. This is an interesting reflection on the marginalizing of Religion in the University's life, specifically the targeting of Religious student groups with pressure to abandon their distinctive beliefs. And it is not just Christian groups being targeted.

A priest I know from seminary days, doing a stint of teaching at Fordham University, commented on how surprised he was that the atmosphere there could turn so chilly if Catholicism were overtly mentioned. Another said that he thought there were no more than sixteen Jesuits teaching full-time there. I do not know if these assertions are, strictly speaking, true -- but if they are, we are indeed in the last minutes of an era.

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  • Posted by: - Jun. 07, 2003 7:53 AM ET USA

    Key distinction: oldest public institution of higher learning, i.e. oldest one paid for by taxpayers.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 07, 2003 4:08 AM ET USA

    Harvard is the oldest U., College of William and Mary the second oldest...NC is the Baptist belt...of course it's chilly there...

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