Every individual situation is different, the solutions to many problems are complex, the responsibility for the way things are should be parceled out in several directions, and boy do things stink.
But I am still left wondering. From the point of view of a prevailing viewpoint in academia that sees religion as a needless accessory at best and an off-putting accessory at worst – I am left wondering why religion should be studied in the first place.
Wouldn't it be better to study and specialize in things that actually matter, that change the world for the better, the STEM fields in particular?
If the chief purpose of the study of religion is to knock it – perhaps that is not what a majority of religious studies professors want to say, but that is how they are often understood – why bother?
Many card-carrying AAR and SBL members are at the point of exasperation in the face of the progressive dismantlement of their departments at secular institutions.
Will the situation of decline lead professors of religious studies to re-examine the foundations of the way religion is taught in secular institutions?
I am not sure it will. But I think it should.