Four Divinity School professors yesterday expressed their hope that more courses in religion might be offered to undergraduates, as urged by the Student Council's report on "Religion at Harvard." They emphasized, however, that the implementation of such courses must be left to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
This matter is being discussed in an "informal manner" by the Committee on Educational. Policy, it was learned yesterday. Members of the Divinity School faculty have been consulted, but as yet no formal plans have been made for new religion courses.
These courses must have "competent instruction," Amos N. Wilder, Hollis professor of Divinity, emphasized. Citing the recent expansion of undergraduate religion programs at Yale and Princeton, Wilder said that "it would be quite in keeping with the wider situation for Harvard to do something of the same kind."
More reserved approval of increased religion courses was voiced by Krister Stendahl, associate professor of New Testament. Stendahl cited a tendency in religion, "a situation which creates intellectuals who are naive and misi0nformed in religious subjects." Such subjects require "co0mpetent instruction," he added.
Stendahl said that some misunderstanding students feel that "teaching about religion is teaching about God." He claimed that "no religious or preachy overtones are necessary," and criticized the Council report for confusion between "courses in instruction and religious propaganda."
Other approving views were voiced by Richard R. Niebuhr, assistant professor of Theology, who is "looking forward to an arrangement with Arts and Sciences to offer more courses with them." John Dillenberger, associate professor of Theology, hoped that the Faculty would offer more courses.