The Idea of a University (Rethinking the Western Tradition)

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9780300064049: The Idea of a University (Rethinking the Western Tradition)

Since its publication almost 150 years ago, "The Idea of a University" has had an influence on the shaping and goals of higher education. The issues that John Henry Newman raised - the place of religion and moral values in the university setting, the competing claims of liberal and professional education, the character of the academic community, the cultural role of literature, the relation of religion and science - have provoked discussion from Newman's time to our own. This edition of "The Idea of a University" includes the full text of "University Teaching" and four selections from "University Subjects", together with five essays by leading scholars that explore the background and the present day relevance of Newman's themes. In the essays Martha Garland discusses the character and organization of the early 19th-century English universities upon which Newman based much of his vision; Frank M. Turner traces the impact of Newman's influence during the vast expansion of higher education since World War II; George Marsden investigates how the decreasing emphasis on religion has affected higher education; Sara Castro Klaren examines the implication of Newman's views on education and literature for current debates between proponents of a curriculum based on western civilization and one based on multiculturalism; and George Landow considers what the advent of electronic communication will mean to university teaching, research and community. To aid accessibility, the edition also includes an analytical table of contents, a chronology and biographical sketch of Newman's life, questions for discussion, expanded notes, and a glossary of names, all of which should help make this the standard teaching text of Newman's work.

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Review:

This excellent new edition of The Idea of a University, especially intended for students, contains a first-rate introduction, appropriately by Don Briel, the founder of the Catholic Studies Program which has become the model for programs around the world.” ~Ian Ker, Senior Research Fellow, Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University

“At a time when intellectuals and the cultured class felt a growing freedom to reject faith as unfounded, or relegate it to the realm of imagination and sentiment, Newman offered an elegant defense of the place of religious truth in the University—it was not just as one discipline among many, but the ‘condition of general knowledge.’ Today Newman's Idea of a University still offers a compelling vision of what a Catholic university might offer in an increasingly secular age.” ~John Garvey, President, the Catholic University of America

“John Henry Newman's classic reflection on university life is even more important today than when he wrote it, given the intellectual, social, and spiritual degradations into which the modern multiversity has fallen. A close reading of Newman, in this marvelous new edition, may help spark the reform that American high education desperately needs.” ~George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, DC

“A classic is a work of enduring relevance. There is arguably no work of greater ongoing importance for the self-understanding of contemporary colleges and universities—especially Catholic colleges and universities—than John Henry Newman’s classic The Idea of a University. Don Briel and Christopher Blum have contributed to a splendid new study edition...to situate and unlock this extraordinary work for a twenty-first century readership. This edition is of great timeliness and special urgency in view of the present crisis of higher education.” ~Reinhard Huetter, Visiting Professor, School of Theology and Religious Studies, the Catholic University of America, and Professor of Christian Theology, Divinity School of Duke University

“Among the great Christian thinkers, Newman remains the most neglected and in many ways the most needed for our times. In The Idea of a University, Newman draws together three points (among others): education is for the person-to-person formation of the mind rather than simply for information; education requires some introduction to the full scope of human knowledge in order for any one field of thought to flourish; and education in the lecture halls cannot be disjoined from what goes on in the residential halls. Reflection on each point shows the need for the Church's presence as a guard against the corrosive influence of pride and the passions--and thus the urgent need for Catholic universities. But reflection also shows that most Catholic universities today are distancing themselves from each point. Rather than despairing, read Newman's book illumined by the brilliant essays of Briel and Blum, and arm oneself with the insights needed for the renewal of true education.” ~Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry, Jr., Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

From the Back Cover:

The issues that John Henry Newman raised--the place of religion and moral values in the university setting, the competing claims of liberal and professional education, the character of the academic community, the cultural role of literature, the relation of religion and science--have provoked discussion from Newman's time to our own.

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