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Wisdom and delight in the university

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Recent debate about the public benefit of university scholarship, especially in the humanities, has sometimes been caught in a sterile tension between the promotion of engagement and the preservation of detachment, or between learning for public benefit and learning for learning’s sake. The article traces this tension back to the work of John Henry Newman. By examining recent work on Higher Education by various Christian theologians (Nigel Biggar, Stanley Hauerwas, Rowan Williams and David Ford), this article suggests that we should instead think of humanities scholarship as intensively dedicated to the public good, but as serving that good by pursuing both wisdom and delight.
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Keywords: David Ford; Higher Education; John Henry Newman; Rowan Williams; Stanley Hauerwas; Universities; Wisdom

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Professor of Theology and Ministry, Durham University, Durham, UK.

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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