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Faith and Truth-Seeking: What is the Role of Religion in Higher Ed?

Virtual July 26, 2021 Public Event

Missed this event? Catch it below!

Monday, July 26th at 7pm ET

In recent years, colleges and universities have seen a rise of campus orthodoxies, which exclude or stigmatize some questions and ideas in favor of others. Jonathan Haidt has written that the proper telos of the university is truth, and that other commitments must be subordinated to the free pursuit of knowledge and the exposure of falsehoods. However, hundreds of accredited colleges and universities have an explicit religious identity, sometimes including a statement of faith.

This panel – moderated by Elizabeth Corey and featuring George Harne, Ilana Horwitz, and Omar Qureshi – explored the relationship between religious beliefs and truth-seeking at both secular and religious institutions.

This event was free and open to the public. Questions? Email

Meet the Panelists:

  • George Harne Headshot
    George Harne is Executive Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at The University of St. Thomas. He holds a doctorate in musicology from Princeton University his career in higher education encompasses his service as a college president, music professor, and over a decade of teaching the Humanities. Dr. Harne served as president at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts from 2011 to 2020 where he further developed the curriculum and integrated humanities program, recruited nationally recognized faculty, secured accreditation with the New England Commission of Higher Education, and extended the college’s national reputation.
  • Ilana Horwitz 2
    Ilana Horwitz is a sociologist of religion and education who examines how people’s gender, ethnicity, race, social class, and religious upbringing shape their life. This fall, Horwitz will join Tulane’s Grant Center for the American Jewish Experience as an Assistant Professor and the Fields-Rayant Chair of Contemporary Jewish Life. Prior to Tulane, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford Center on Longevity, and earned her PhD in Sociology of Education & Jewish Studies from Stanford University. Horwitz also earned a Masters in International Education Development from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and a Bachelors in Business Administration from Emory University. She is a former Institute for Education Sciences fellow and Wexner/Davidson fellow, and worked for several years as a management consultant and program evaluator. Her forthcoming book, God, Grades, and Graduation: Religion’s Surprising Impact on Academic Success, will be published next year.
  • Qureshi, Omar

    Omar Qureshi is a scholar of educational philosophy, ethics, theology, and Islamic law and the Provost of Zaytuna College. His field specialties include Science Education, Philosophy of Education, Metaphysics, Ethics, Theology, and Islamic Law. At Zaytuna College, Dr. Qureshi has taught Metaphysical Foundations, Contemporary Muslim Thought, al-Ghazali, Advanced Arabic Grammar, Classical Muslim Texts and Commentaries, and Legal Theory (all in the bachelor’s program) and The Aims of the Law (in the master’s program). Prior to his post at Zaytuna College, Dr. Qureshi served as principal at the Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park, IL, from 2012 to 2016. Dr. Qureshi received his BA in Microbiology and his MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He earned his PhD in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies at Loyola University in 2016.

Meet the Moderator:

  • Corey, Elizabeth
    Elizabeth Corey joined the Baylor Honors Program’s faculty in 2007 and has served as Director since 2015. She earned a B.A. in Classics from Oberlin College, an M.A. in art history from Louisiana State University (LSU), and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from LSU. She has taught courses at Baylor on political science, great texts, and in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. She has earned several awards for research and teaching and was a 2016-2017 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow. Her book, Michael Oakeshott on Religion, Aesthetics, and Politics, was published by the University of Missouri Press in 2006. She writes for First Things and serves on the board of the Institute on Religion and Public Life. She has also published in The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, and in a variety of scholarly journals.
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Heterodox Academy hosts a variety of events throughout the year, ranging from panel conversations to skill-building member workshops to awards dinners. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all our events are currently taking place virtually. HxA also strives to host inclusive, accessible events that enable individuals to engage fully.

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