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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Can Hope Endure? A Historical Case Study in Christian Higher Education

The spate of books written recently on Christian higher education highlights a common theme--how numerous colleges founded by church bodies have gradually lost their religious moorings, often culminating in what historian George Marsden calls "established nonbelief." This book examines the history of Hope College in Holland, Michigan, as it struggles to find a faithful middle way between secularization and withdrawal from mainstream academic and American culture. Hope College's history reveals that it is exceptional, having followed the predictable trajectory, yet subsequently changing course. Given this unusual history, the story of why and how Hope College moved toward reestablishing the role of religion in its institutional life yields important lessons for other schools facing the same challenges. The book's narrative is enriched by the "binocular vision" provided by a professional historian and a professional philosopher. Collaboration affords authors James Kennedy and Caroline Simon the critical distance necessary to ask hard questions about Hope and, by extension, other institutions like it.
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