New Core Loses 'Faith'

December 13, 2006


Source: The Harvard Crimson

The task force charged with replacing Harvard’s Core curriculum has dropped its headline-grabbing proposal for a “Reason and Faith” requirement - a category that would have made Harvard the only Ivy to require its undergrads to study religion.

The committeehas also suggested a new course requirement on “what it means to be a human being,” which some professors at yesterday’s Faculty meeting criticized as a “grab bag” category.

Students could fulfill this requirement with a course in areas as varied as evolutionary biology or literature, according to a letter the Task Force on General Education sent last week to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

While the new “what it means to be a human being” requirement was debated at length at the Faculty meeting, the “Reason and Faith” requirement - which received national media attention after it was unveiled with the task force’s original preliminary report in October - seemed to die quietly.

In its letter, the eight-member task force explained that “courses dealing with religion...can be readily accommodated in other categories.”

See also: Interfaith, Civic, Campus