The crisis in university education has been the subject of vigorous debate in recent years. In this eloquent and deeply personal book, a distinguished scholar reflects on the character and aims of the university, assessing its guiding principles, its practical functions, and its role in society. Jaroslav Pelikan provides a unique perspective on ...
The crisis in university education has been the subject of vigorous debate in recent years. In this eloquent and deeply personal book, a distinguished scholar reflects on the character and aims of the university, assessing its guiding principles, its practical functions, and its role in society. Jaroslav Pelikan provides a unique perspective on the university today by reexamining it in light of John Henry Cardinal Newman's 150-year-old classic The Idea of a University and showing how Cardinal Newman's ideas both illuminate and differ from current problems facing higher education. Pelikan begins by affirming the validity of Newman's first principle: that knowledge must be an end in itself. He goes on to make the case for the inseparability of research and teaching on both intellectual and practical grounds, stressing the virtues--free inquiry, scholarly honesty, civility in discourse, toleration of diverse beliefs and values, and trust in rationality and public verifiability--that must be practiced and taught by the university. He discusses the business of the university--the advancement of knowledge through research, the extension and interpretation of knowledge through undergraduate and graduate teaching, the preservation of knowledge in libraries, museums, and galleries, and the diffusion of knowledge through scholarly publishing. And he argues that by performing these tasks, by developing closer ties with other schools at all levels, and by involving the community in lifelong education, the university will make its greatest contribution to society.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-03-23 Pelikan ( The Christian Tradition ), professor of history at Yale, here conducts an ``ongoing dialogue with one book,'' John Henry Cardinal Newman's The Idea of a University . Written more than 150 years ago by the towering 19th century thinker whose efforts to establish a Catholic university in Dublin were cruelly frustrated, Newman's book offers illuminating parallels to, and contrasts, current university crises, and Pelikan draws attention to these in the present work. He adheres to the format of Newman's discourses, embracing their theological as well as scholarly dimensions as he seeks to characterize the university's aims, functions, and place in society. He considers the interrelations of knowledge and utility, the conflict between ideology and pluralism and the need for community felt by teachers and students--concerns as pressing in Newman's day as they are now. Shaped by Pelikan's personal identification with Newman, whom he calls ``the most influential English-speaking theologian who ever lived,'' this reflective book should be required reading for shapers of the university, and will be a powerful stimulus for readers who wish to reacquaint themselves with Newman. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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