Monday, February 23, 2009

Gotta Serve Somebody- Bob Dylan 1979


Wiley-Blackwell, a major academic publisher, is recalling copies of Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization and scrapping the print run after critics said the entries were "too Christian" and "too anti-Muslim."




A fellow blogger, AtlantaMama, turned me on to the story of a Christian Encyclopedia being recalled by the publisher for being 'too Christian.' Ahem...excuse me?

You can read the entire report on Christian Post here.

A summation for you folks too extraordinarily busy to actually read online news articles (said with an eye roll...Z), the four-volume set was published for the academic world under the title Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization by Wiley-Blackwell and edited by George Kurian. But after a small group of critics, mostly from college and university staffs, reviewed the books...

"They determined that the Introduction and many of the entries were 'too Christian, too orthodox, too anti-secular and too anti-Muslim and not politically correct enough for being used in universities," said the encyclopedia’s editor, George Thomas Kurian, sounding angry in an e-mail sent last week to nearly 400 contributors.


Things have obviously changed in higher education since my undergraduate days. I distinctly remember hearing lectures and reading textbooks about Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Khan and the atrocities each man imposed on millions. There were no 'academic concerns' about anti-German, anti-Slavic or anti-Asian biases. Education was about truth, getting to the truth, or understanding truism. Not once while studying of Buddha, Muhammad or even the Spanish Inquisitions did I become offended by the antithetical element when compared with my own convictions. Ultimately, learning about a diverse number of philosophies (even from their perspective) only strengthened my belief system...which teaches me the belief of others is irrelevant to my own salvation...thus God's incredible gift of free will. If you want to worship an elm tree...don't let me stop you. But that's another blog all together.

So a collection of Christian historical facts needs editing (read censored) to be more politically and socially friendly...to be less Christian...to be more favorable to Islam and Jews...to be more balanced. Not the facts from the perspective of Christian history...the sanitized quasi-facts. What's next, a collection of Jewish historical facts that can't include mean words about Nazis or Muslims...no wait...Iran denies the Holocaust already...so I guess Muslims get their own set of historical facts...no wait...Sunnis and Shiites don't agree on...no wait...aren't there 73 different sects of Islam? Libraries are going to need to be a lot bigger.

What gets edited next for Christians?


That 2012 prediction about the end of the world is looking better each passing day...


14 comments:

Z said...

Okay, tell me what merited me the 'rolled eyes'..."SKIMMING?" What did I SAY? I'm just a tad curious! not mad, just curious. Mostly...:-)

Rosie said...

The same thing has been happening to history books in high schools across the nation for several years with educators turning a blind eye...not that the books are Christian...but altering history facts to support a more "multi-cultural" view of the past. We wouldn't want future generations to associate Germany with Hitler and the Holocaust now would we? Nor the countries of Iran/Iraq associated with extreme muslim jihads. How about North Korea as anti-American. Let's dumb these religious Christian fools down so their grandchildren will believe anything they read and not critically think through a subject. Let's rise up a nation of fools who do not believe ethic/religious cleansing could happen in this country. Teach them that freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to bear arms is not a consitutional priviledge because we wouldn't want to offend others by our words, religion or the size of our guns now would we? Just another books to put on your reading list: The Death of the Grown-up - How America's Arrested Development is Bring Down Western Civilization.

AtlantaMama said...

thanks for taking this one on

A Young American said...

Oh, don't we all just love revisionist history!!! That is the LAMEST thing I have heard!

Luke said...

Interesting stuff.

And how will we look back on these moments in our history fifty years from now? That will be even more interesting...

~Luke

Susan Spilka said...

Your report of events is not accurate. Here is what happened:
The publication of Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, which Blackwell Publishing Limited (now part of Wiley-Blackwell) contracted in 2006 as a major cross-disciplinary reference work, has been delayed to enable the review by its Editorial Board that was envisioned at the outset of this project. At that time, the Encyclopedia’s Editor, George T. Kurian, approved and helped to appoint an Editorial Board of prominent theologians and scholars to perform this responsibility.

With Mr Kurian’s full knowledge and approval, in October 2006 Blackwell Publishing Limited entered into a series of written contracts under which a number of scholars in the field agreed to provide Advisory Editor services to prepare and edit the Encyclopedia for publication. Accordingly, we are surprised that Mr. Kurian could assert now that external editorial review was not planned or contemplated prior to publication and dissemination of the Encyclopedia

After serious concerns were raised by contributors about the Introduction, which was written by Mr. Kurian, we contacted members of the Editorial Board directly for feedback. We learned that Mr. Kurian did not engage the Editorial Board in the manner we had agreed to at the beginning of the publishing process; therefore, we requested that they perform these responsibilities, as was intended all along, to ensure that the Encyclopedia meets Wiley-Blackwell’s standards of scholarship. We acknowledge that we should have been aware of the shortcut Mr. Kurian took in his editorial process sooner, but that does not change our responsibility to rectify the situation now.

We will not speculate on the outcome of the Editorial Board’s review. No decision has yet been made about the inventory that is being stored in our distribution facilities.

While we understand and share the concerns of contributors to the Encyclopedia regarding the delay, we must fulfill our responsibilities as a respected global publisher. We sincerely appreciate that many of the Encyclopedia’s contributors have taken the time to understand the issues that we and the Editorial Board are attempting to address, rather than making false and damaging accusations.

As I am sure you know, Wiley (of which Wiley-Blackwell is a part) is not affiliated with any lobby or group, religious or otherwise. We have promoted the freedom of expression and ideas for over 200 years, and we will continue to do so.

Tony C said...

Wow...that was a faster rebuttal than I get from one of my New Age post!

I will leave your comment posted as a counterpoint to the story by Katherine Phan and published by the Christian Post. It's only fair.

I did notice the derogatory quotes came from Mr. Kurian.

Your response is welcome and respected, and I hope the integrity of Wiley-Blackwell is well intact when all is said and done in this matter. 'Promoting the expression of free ideas' rarely intersects with promoting the expression of political correctness. As Christians, all we desire is a level playing field to advance our theology and present it from a Christian perspective.

Again Ms. Spilka, thank you for your response.

Z said...

Tony, I'm getting more and more curious..please address my question! What's UP!?

Tony C said...

Hey Z,

Just busting on you a little for the Dream Weaver blog comment about being in a hurry and scanning through...but really I just needed a segue. Trust me...all in good fun. You can retaliate anytime.

What's your thoughts on the above comment by the rep from Wiley-Blackwell? They sure found the post pretty quick!

Anonymous said...

Somebody is watching you Tony

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is me, Bud. Wow, looks like somebody is keeping an eye on your blog for them to respond so quickly.

AtlantaMama said...

Obama video.... see what you think Tony C Today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqkMfToY9Pk

David said...

I might be stoned (along with everybody else), but I have been monitoring my daughters education in college, along with one in public high school and another in pre-school. While this publisher says that they promote freedom of speech; and possibly opposing views, I am seeing some very twisted views of culture, and history in their text books. Even Biblical history is re-researched for e more political view of of it.

Just give me the facts, and let me think for my self. Or are we ate the Gates of Eden?

Z said...

"...we must fulfill our responsibilities as a respected global publisher."

I think that's telling..the crux of the position...to be RESPECTED around the GLOBE, we can't appear "TOO CHRISTIAN!" God forbid, eh?