WSJ story on dismissed Wheaton professor is old, but hot
Is the Reformation over? asks Wheaton College history professor Mark Noll in a book with Carolyn Nystrom (see CT's review and Books & Culture's excerpt). As reported in the top story in the weekend Wall Street Journal, Noll's school has answered the question with a resounding no.
Around Christianity Today, a stone's throw from Wheaton, the dismissal of assistant philosophy professor Joshua Hochschild for his conversion to Roman Catholicism is a bit old news. Indeed, the Journal notes that he left last spring, and the debate over his dismissal goes back to 2003. Furthermore, the debate over limiting Catholic teaching at Wheaton is considerably older. It was a subject of debate when Weblog was a Wheaton undergraduate student more than a decade ago. As the Journal itself reports, Wheaton "has never hired a Catholic professor full time and tells Catholic applicants it won't consider them for such posts. Aware of Wheaton's Protestants-only policy, Mr. Hochschild recalls thinking he would probably lose his job."
But the Journal sees, as its deck proclaims, "a new orthodoxy at religious colleges."
"A conservative reaction is setting in, part of a broader push against the secularization of American society," writes Daniel Golden. "Fearful of forsaking their spiritual and educational moorings, colleges are increasingly 'hiring for mission,' as the catch phrase goes, even at the cost of eliminating more academically qualified candidates."
It doesn't sound like Wheaton College president Duane Litfin would characterize his actions as fearful. "If you look at the caliber of our faculty, this is an amazing place," he told the paper. "It's thriving. Why do genetic engineering ...1