Tuesday's News & Ideas

Lots of God at the inauguration, including one Obama-linked pastor who wasn't asked to pray. Plus for-profit universities. Are they an anomaly or the wave of the future? (Stanley Fish comments).

Gay bishop's prayer deserves to be heardChicago Sun-Times: Bishop Gene Robinson’s invocation left out of concert broadcast.New York Times: Repeats of ‘We Are One’ event will include Bishop, HBO says.

Mr. Obama’s inauguration.Times-Dispatch (Richmond): When it comes to religion in public life, the Obama administration has a real opportunity to model a more inclusive kind of leadership.

USA Today: Faith and inauguration.

Big turnout for Obama's former pastorWashington Post: The Rev. Jeremiah Wright thrilled churchgoers Sunday in Washington, giving a sermon holding up Obama as a spiritual symbol of possibility.

Worship is missionAlban Institute: Worship and mission are God’s single activity of reconciliation—not simply distinct yet related activities in which the church engages.

The Spark

The Last professorA new book, “The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities” by Frank Donoghue argues that, in deemphasizing the humanities, traditional universities are basically following the same policy as for-profit universities, which make no pretense of valuing what used to be called the “higher learning.” John Sperling, founder of the group that gave us Phoenix University, for example is refreshingly blunt: “Coming here is not a rite of passage. We are not trying to develop value systems or go in for that ‘expand their minds’” nonsense. Writing about the book on his New York Times blog, Stanley Fish says the for-profit university is the logical end of a shift from a model of education centered in an individual professor who delivers insight and inspiration to a model that begins and ends with the imperative to deliver the information and skills necessary to gain employment.