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Panel suggests required religion course at Harvard due to growth of faith in world affairs


BOSTON (RNS) — In a nod to the growing significance of religion in world affairs, a Harvard University faculty committee is recommending that all undergraduates be required to take a course in “reason and faith.”

The recommendation was part of a report issued Oct. 3 by Harvard’s Task Force on General Education. In the report, the nine-member faculty panel also recommended a required course in ethics and two under the rubric of “The United States and the World.”

In recent decades, Harvard students haven’t had to take a religion class in order to graduate. But that should change, according to the faculty panel, because religion affects so many areas of life.

Harvard College, the nation’s oldest, formed in 1636 as a training ground for Congregational ministers. A full faculty vote is required before recommendations would be adopted as university policy.