Signs of the Times

[From What the Colleges are Doing, Boston, Mass., November, 1923]

The inquiry into the place of religious faith in college education is manifestly a sign of the times. It implies a proper assumption of responsibility on the part of the college for the moral sanity of the coming generation. It acknowledges also, and that quite frankly, that institutions which stand as exemplars of our civilization, institutions which are supported by public funds to serve the public weal, must conserve not alone the broad highway of the intellect which they travel, and their own free outlook, but they must take account as well of the spirit and purpose that are to dominate and guide the intellectual power which they are calling into being. Neither cynicism nor cocksureness is as popular in younger college circles as it was in some instances a generation ago, for the college community has been brought face to face with two facts which give it concern: first, that there is no element in human thought so tenacious of its ancient prestige as religious conviction; secondly, that it is vital to the security of our free institutions that their religious backgrounds shall be, so far as is possible, generously cooperative, intelligent, and progressive.

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August 16, 1924

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