atheism in universities

April 5, 2007

Found this article somewhat insightful. If you are interested in the question of what the influence of academics is on atheism, definitely read this. It is a few pages long though. If not that interested, here is some of the interesting quotes from the article:

“The Spirituality and Higher Education survey conducted by UCLA found that 81 percent of faculty in the country identify themselves as “spiritual beings,” although that drops to 65 percent when faculty are asked whether they identify themselves as “religious.”

A different study from the Harvard Divinity School showed that faculty members had a 20 percent incidence of atheist and agnostics, much greater than the 7 percent of the general population.”

“The authors of the UCLA survey also analyzed religiosity by subject area. Not surprisingly, biological sciences had the highest incidence of atheism, while the humanities had one of the lowest. However, the profession with the very fewest atheists turned out to be health care.

Technically, medicine and biology are similar fields. However, in terms of a day job, they’re completely different. Could the academe factor in the impersonal of the biologist sitting behind a microscope account for the lack of religiosity? Is there more of that subtle, incomprehensible “real life” factor in treating and caring for people in the health professions and hence greater religiosity?”

I guess this may count for theologians as well. Stay connected to people. Looks like many may find their faith in community. Or maybe it’s just about the different kind of people that go study stuff. Those in the medical field. the more people orientated, and helping out orientated, are more likely to be people of faith, while those interested in things and pure academic research, are less likely. Don’t really know, but it’s an interesting topic.

Thanx to George Maru’s blog (Afrikaans), where I found the link to the article.

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