The Idea of the American University

Overview

As John Henry Newman reflected on 'The Idea of a University' more than a century and a half ago, Bradley C. S. Watson brings together some of the nation's most eminent thinkers on higher education to reflect on the nature and purposes of the American university today. They detail the life and rather sad times of the American university, its relationship to democracy, and the place of the liberal arts within it. Their mordant reflections paint a picture of the American university in crisis. But they also point ...

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The Idea of the American University

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Overview

As John Henry Newman reflected on 'The Idea of a University' more than a century and a half ago, Bradley C. S. Watson brings together some of the nation's most eminent thinkers on higher education to reflect on the nature and purposes of the American university today. They detail the life and rather sad times of the American university, its relationship to democracy, and the place of the liberal arts within it. Their mordant reflections paint a picture of the American university in crisis. But they also point toward a renewal of the university by redirecting it toward those things that resist the passions of the moment, or the pull of mere utility. This book is essential reading for thoughtful citizens, scholars, and educational policymakers.

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Editorial Reviews

Colleen Sheehan
This volume deserves the attention of all those who care about the fate of liberal education in our time. The thoughtful scholars included in this work show that the once clear and purposive western universities, which were dedicated to the search for truth and elevation of the human mind and soul, are now dedicated to nothing at all, unless it be to a kind of intellectual promiscuity. Nonetheless, this volume contains within it the seeds of hope for recapturing the purpose of the liberal arts in modern democratic societies, and therewithal, a recommitment to the highest human aspirations.
Roger Kimball
Essential reading for anyone concerned about the future on higher education in America. Don't miss it.
Bruce S. Thornton
These thoughtful and penetrating essays on American higher education offer not just a stark dissection of its follies and failures, but also the wisdom necessary for renewal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739149157
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 174
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Bradley C. S. Watson is professor of political science at Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania, and the Philip M. McKenna Chair in American and Western Political Thought.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: The American University in Crisis Bradley C. S. Watson 1

Part I The Life and Times of the American University

Chapter 1 Universitas sine Universo: On the Home of Truth When There Is No Truth James V. Schall 11

Chapter 2 The End of the American Core Curriculum Mark C. Henrie 21

Chapter 3 From Civilizational Memory and the Upward Lifting of Souls, to Upward Mobility, to Upending Social Mores: The Going Down of University Education in One Professor's Lifetime Gary D. Glenn 35

Chapter 4 Roller of Big Cigars: The American University as Cheerful Mortician Peter Wood 55

Chapter 5 Eccentric Education - The American Way Susan E. Hanssen 67

Part II Higher Education and Democracy

Chapter 6 Socrates in America William Mathie 83

Chapter 7 Human Dignity and Higher Education Today Peter Augustine Lawler 97

Chapter 8 Now That the University Has Become the High School, Where Do We Get an Education? W. B. Allen 115

Part III The University and the Liberal Arts

Chapter 9 St. Augustine, the University, and the So-Called Liberal Arts Michael P. Foley 129

Chapter 10 Toward an American Liberal Education John Agresto 141

Index 155

About the Editor and Contributors 159

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