Monday, July 7, 2008

God's Harvard

I didn't have any expectations one way or another when I started reading Hanna Rosin's God's Harvard. By the end, though, I was hooked. Rosin does a great job taking a pretty fair look at a "fundamentalist" university. The book examines life at Patrick Henry University in Northern Virginia. The school's mission is to provide a cadre of well-trained and well-connected young women and men to promote conservative Christian principles in the arts, the media, politics and business.

I've spent a fair amount of time in fundamentalist circles and this book gets down the essence of the movement just about right. Rather than the banjo-strumming hayseeds we see portrayed in the media, Christian conservatives are well educated, well-spoken and entirely reasonable.

That's not to say that I agree with the mission of places like Patrick Henry. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that they alarm me to some extent. But to demean these people's faith and commitment serves no good and does not seem to exhibit a commitment to democratic tolerance. God's Harvard really helps promote understanding between groups and people who don't tend to see eye-to-eye.

No comments: