This book argues against the conventional idea that Protestantism effectively ceased to play an important role in American higher education around the end of the 19th century. Employing Princeton as an example, the study shows that Protestantism was not abandoned but rather modified to conform to the educational values and intellectual standards of the modern university. Drawing upon a wealth of neglected primary sources, Kemeny sheds new light on the role of religion in higher education by examining what was happening both inside and outside the classroom, and by illustrating that religious and secular commitments were not neatly divisible but rather commingled.
“Over the past fifteen years, careful studies of individual institutions and key players in this transition have aggregated to produce a more exact picture of this process. P. C. Kemeny’s book now joins the ranks of the best of these studies. This book will be required reading for the rising generation of scholars seeking to understand the secularizing process in American higher education.”
– American Historical Review, December 2000
“Kemeny offers us a well-researched, well-documented, well-conceptualized, and well-written study of religion and higher education at Princeton between the 1860s to the 1930s, as well as an informative institutional history.”