Friday 21 June 2013

Richard Liddy on Newman and the university

St Ignatius of Loyola Church on the Lower Campus
Last day of the Lonergan Workshop 40 (2013)

Richard Liddy spoke about Newman and the University. Newman’s book, The Idea of a University, he said, is considered even by secular scholars as one of the most important books to have been ever written on higher education. Newman’s idea of a university was still a storehouse of knowledge, a teaching place rather than a research place, and Lonergan points out that the modern university is a place where knowledge is disseminated in order to bring about social and cultural change. But always the issue is: how to bring wisdom into the university. Newman was insistent on the idea of the whole: if an important piece like theology is pulled out or left out, it affects the whole, it distorts the whole, and some other discipline steps in and tends to take over the role that theology used to play. The idea of the whole, of course, has to do with wisdom. 

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