St. John Henry Newman—The Idea of a University | Bearing of Other Branches of Knowledge on Theology
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“If you drop any science out of the circle of knowledge, you cannot keep its place vacant for it; that science is forgotten; the other sciences close up, or, in other words, they exceed their proper bounds, and intrude where they have no right... no science whatever, however comprehensive it may be, but will fall largely into error, if it be constituted the sole exponent of all things in heaven and earth, and that, for the simple reason that it is encroaching on territory not its own, and undertaking problems which it has no instruments to solve.“
In 1854, Newman was invited to Dublin by the Catholic Bishops of Ireland to serve as rector for the newly established Catholic University of Ireland, now University College, Dublin. Though he retired after only four years, during this time he composed and delivered the lectures that would become The Idea of a University.
In this fourth discourse, Newman examines the unavoidable consequence that Theology, if abandoned, will soon have its place usurped by one or more of the other sciences, with dire consequences both to Theology and the other sciences themselves.
Part 1 of this work, “University Teaching”, will be released in episodic format over the coming weeks. Be sure to subscribe so as not to miss an installment!
The Newman Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture reading project on The Idea of a University: https://www.newmansthoughts.com/
The Idea of a University full text: https://www.newmanreader.org/works/idea/
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