‘Too Christian’ for Academia?


‘Too Christian’ for Academia?
A four-volume encyclopedia gets pulped in the name of political correctness.

By Edward Feser

Wiley-Blackwell, a major academic press, was set to release its four-volume Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization this month. According to the encyclopedia’s editor, George Thomas Kurian, the set had been copy-edited, fact-checked, proofread, publisher-approved, printed, bound, and formally launched (to high praise) at the recent American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature conference. But protests from a small group of scholars associated with the project have led the press to postpone publication, recall all copies already distributed, and destroy the existing print run. The scholars’ complaint? The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, they have reportedly argued, is “too Christian.” “They also object to historical references to the persecution and massacres of Christians by Muslims,” Kurian says, “but at the same time want references favorable to Islam.”

Political correctness in academic publishing is nothing new, but it would be unusual, to say the least, for ideological pressure to lead a publisher to reverse itself so late in the process, especially given the significant financial losses involved in pulping a print run of a gigantic four-volume encyclopedia. As Kurian puts it, “This is probably the first instance of mass book-burning in the 21st century.”

. . . . .

The memo also claims that the “words or passages [the critics] want deleted” include “Antichrist,” “BC/AD (as chronological markers),” “Virgin Birth,” “Resurrection,” and “Evangelism.” “To make the treatment ‘more balanced,’” the memo says, the critics “also want the insertion of material denigrating Christianity in some form or fashion.”

“If it ain’t wikipedia, we don’t want it!” cried the masses.

I hope Wiley-Blackwell loses big on this.

From the article it seems that a small group of scholars working on the Encyclopedia are responsible for it being recalled. But I don’t understand why their objections weren’t heard until after the Encyclopedia was printed.

Reminds me of the textbooks printed in the Soviet Union which stated that the Soviets defeated Nazi Germany in World War II, with no help at all from Britain, the United States, et al..

Then the Soviet Union collapsed, and they had to have Westerners come in to re-write their textbooks and tell them what really happened.

Note to PC scholars: you ain’t gonna be around forever. Sooner or later, PC will evaporate just like every other ideology, and then the truth will come out----and you will all look like total jackasses for trying to manipulate history for a political end.

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization is too Christian.

Well, of course.

They probably also object to there having ever been a Christian civilization to begin with.
Better to just forget that it ever happened.

Maybe we should produce an Encyclopedia of Political Correctness and see if we can get somebody to protest it for being “too PC”. :wink:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.