Finally, I Post a Small Tribute to the Cardinal
The puzzling Roger Scruton recently penned a borderline-beautiful tribute to Cardinal Newman’s The Idea of a University. Check it out. Excerpt:
The university is a society in which the student absorbs the graces and accomplishments of a higher form of life. In the university, according to Newman, the pursuit of truth and the active discussion of its meaning are integrated into a wider culture, in which the ideal of the gentleman is acknowledged as the standard. The gentleman does not merely know things; he is receptive to the tone, the meaning, the lived reality of what he knows. Thus, for Newman, “the general principles of any study you may learn by books at home; but the detail, the colour, the tone, the air, the life which makes it live in us, you must catch all these from those in whom it lives already.” The university of Newman’s day was a place in which men (and it was then an institution for men only) lived for scholarship, and arranged their lives around the sacrifice that scholarship requires. It was not simply a repository of knowledge. It was a place where work and leisure occurred side by side, shaping each other, and each playing its part in producing the well-formed and graceful personality.
Another great quote from the same article:
Under a president whose knowledge of life seems to have been acquired entirely from campus orthodoxies and who seeks to impose those orthodoxies on the American people, it is inevitable that ordinary conservative Americans should wonder whether a university education is quite the bargain that its defenders claim it to be. Surely there is a better way to manage the transition from adolescence to adulthood than by spending the family savings on a four-year course in resentment.