A revised curriculum at Harvard may include a required course in religion, as Jim Downey has brought to my attention. There isn’t enough information in the article to decide how to regard this decision, though; I don’t object automatically to requiring college kids to learn to think critically about religion, and I would hope that a course at Harvard wouldn’t be anything like a tutorial in Jebus-praising at Pensacola Christian College, but who knows? The summary is impossibly vague.
“I think 30 years ago,” when the school’s curriculum was last overhauled, “people would have said that religion is not something that everyone needs to know,” said Louis Menand, a Harvard professor and co-chairman of the committee that drafted the report. “But today, few would disagree that religion is supremely important to modern life.”
In the same way that knowledge of cholera and dysentery would be supremely important to a 19th century city dweller? It sounds like any of a number of courses would fit the requirement of discussing “the interplay between reason and faith“, so it doesn’t sound like much of a change to me…except, of course, that it would be treated as a PR coup by the religious.