In early June, the Claremont School of Theology announced that it would merge with its local Jewish and Muslim counterparts to form an inter-religious university this coming fall. Philip Clayton discusses the controversy this has aroused in conservative Christian communities:
Why would this relatively benign-sounding news frighten conservatives so deeply? Yet resistance from the Christian Right has already been swift and strong. Even prior to the June 9th announcement, conservative protests within the United Methodist Church led to a withholding of operating funds for Claremont (about $800,000 a year). Mark Tooley, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, bemoans “the liberalism of seminaries like Claremont.” In a recent post he complains, “Will Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists want to study theology at a declining, liberal Mainline Protestant seminary? Claremont’s new interfaith approach seems to undermine the transcendent claims of all faiths, and treat religion as merely a prop for the secular culture’s enchantment with multiculturalism and diversity.”
Read the rest of his analysis here.