Salisbury Forum Nov. 4: God is dead? Maybe not
SALISBURY — The Salisbury Forum speaker series continues Friday, Nov. 4, with Anthony T. Kronman, a former dean of the Yale Law School, on “The Humanities in the Age of Disenchantment.”In a phone interview this week, Kronman said his talk would be provocative. American colleges and universities used to have a religious affiliation. Until relatively recently, “There was a close connection between the ideals of liberal education in America as traditionally understood and a presumed religious background in higher education.”Colleges were in the business of “training Christian gentlemen.”Kronman said that his intellectual and spiritual beliefs “are as far removed from fundamentalism as can be,” but that the current orthodoxy — which he described as “ruthlessly secular” — goes hand in hand with disenchantment in higher education.“I hear ‘God is dead — get used to it’ and I find the position really unattractive.”He plans to discuss his “modest theological proposal”: “To resurrect in some meaningful form the idea of God as part of a solid foundation in higher education.”Contrary to what some might think, Kronman says the liberal arts are not dead, at least not at Yale, where the Directed Studies program, which features an intensive Great Books curriculum, attracts some 200 freshmen each year.The program was established after World War II. Kronman doubts it could be started from scratch in today’s academic climate.“It would be very difficult to start a program that is so self-consciously Western.”Kronman will speak at Housatonic Valley Regional High School Friday, Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. The program is free.