Friday, June 8, 2007

St. Olaf's College Appoints Hindu to Head Religion Dept.

Trackback URL for this entry: http://haloscan.com/tb/maggiesnotebook/7789780098056307420 WorldNetDaily reports that St. Olaf's, a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has appointed a practicing Hindu, Anantanand Rambachan, to head the Religion Department. Rambachan says that his appointment:

"is not meant to indicate or signal a new attitude or direction for the college. At the same time, St. Olaf, like many other academic institutions, is growing and changing. … Today, courses on Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism are taught without controversy…," he said. "Institutions should increasingly reflect the diversity of our nation and this, of course, includes religion."
It is always the "transitions" that tell the story...the "buts," the "howevers," the "therefores," and in this case, it is:
"At the same time"..."
Is Rambachan saying, while my appointment is not "meant" to indicate a new attitude or direction for St. Olaf's, we are "changing" (that is, "changing" to move in a new direction), institutions SHOULD reflect diversity, and to that end, we are very close to ridding America of pesky Christian influences? Could well be. About St. Olaf's descriptor, "College of the Church," the newly appointed Head of Religion, Anatanand Rambachan says this:
As a Hindu, I must readily admit my difficulty to be enthusiastic about the college motto with its mythical or historical images of battle and confess that I find my meaning in other dimensions of St. Olaf’s identity as a college of the church. To be at a college of the church means, for me, to be in learning and teaching relationships where religion is taken seriously. The significance of religion is appreciated, not just as a historical social reality, shaping the nature of communities and their relationships, but also as a place of ultimate meaning for human beings and a source of our deepest values.
St. Olaf's is a "college of the church," and is "rooted in Christian gospel." Can the teaching of world religions in a "college of the church," which is "rooted in Christian gospel," be credible with a practicing Hindu at its head? Here's more about St. Olaf's from the website:
St. Olaf is a liberal arts college of the church with world-class programs in music and mathematics. We're also recognized for our science research, our intensive global focus and the percentage of our alumni who go on to graduate school.
This is St. Olaf: St. Olaf is a college of the church where conversations about faith are part of daily life
St. Olaf says their student body is:
49 percent Lutheran, 17 percent Catholic, 6 percent Presbyterian
...and says...
St. Olaf, a four-year college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, provides an education committed to the liberal arts, rooted in the Christian Gospel, and incorporating a global perspective. In the conviction that life is more than a livelihood, it focuses on what is ultimately worthwhile and fosters the development of the whole person in mind, body, and spirit. Now in its second century, St. Olaf College remains dedicated to the high standards set by its Norwegian immigrant founders. In the spirit of free inquiry and free expression, it offers a distinctive environment that integrates teaching, scholarship, creative activity, and opportunities for encounter with the Christian Gospel and God's call to faith. The college intends that its graduates combine academic excellence and theological literacy with a commitment to lifelong learning.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church is silent on this appointment, but the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities spokesman, Nate Mouttet, told WND that St. Olaf's would not qualify for membership in their Council...We have this expectation that they have to hire as fulltime faculty and administrators only persons who profess faith in Christ." Read the WorldNetDaily post for important links on this piece. Pinged by Why Sen John McCain Favors Amnesty from blog@MoreWhat. Excerpt:Senator John McCain’s constituents shed some light on why he favors amnesty. Maybe he is aware that he has little or no chance to be President so pandering to Arizona illegals and the greed behind them suits his political ambition. Pinged by Satan's Saturday Flame: Time Magazine's "Why Amne from The Virtuous Republic. Excerpt: Time Magazine's cover for this week proclaims, "Why Amnesty Makes Sense". 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