Basis of Belief tells the story of the University of Minnesota's
unofficial educational agenda. Steven Keillor considers selected
controversies that have been energetically debated by educators,
administrators, and students for over a century at the University.
Keillor describes the clash between an experimental, scientific
basis for knowledge and a reliance on testimony, as in stories and
first-hand accounts. Which means of obtaining knowledge was best?
Which direction should a university take in influencing and promoting
one or the other?
arguments concern the place in the University curriculum and student
life of such matters as science, religion, psychology, literature,
evolution, American Studies, academic freedom, and loyalty, as well
as less scholarly activities, such as student protests and strikes.
Keillor carefully draws upon diaries, letters, published accounts,
and interviews to assess how religion affected these subjects in
J. Keillor offers us a series of stories that provide interesting
portraits revealing how the role of religion has changed dramatically
over the course of the history at one state university. Much of
what he does documents long-forgotten episodes and issues that will
be fascinating and illuminating to those who are familiar with the
University of Minnesota, or any state university, today.
-George Marsden, Professor of History at the University of Notre
A lifelong resident of the state, Steven J. Keillor earned his PhD
in History at the University of Minnesota. He has written biographies
of two Minnesota governors-one of a Republican (Knute Nelson) and
one of a Farmer-Laborite and DFLer (Hjalmar Petersen). The Minnesota
Historical Society published his history of the state's rural cooperatives,
as well as a memoir of a First-Minnesota soldier in the Civil War
that he edited. He has also written about the Grand Excursion of
1854 and the history of the city of Rochester. He teaches Minnesota
history at Bethel University in St. Paul. Keillor has three children
and two grandchildren, and he resides with his wife Margaret in
Askov, Minnesota. Visit Steven Keillor's Web site at www.stevekeillor.com.
pages, 2008, 6" x 9", paperbound