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date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter maintains that Newman does not fit neatly into either the philosophical or rhetorical traditions of thought about liberal education; rather, as a controversialist, he dialectically combines both approaches. In his writings about learning (the Oxford University Sermon on Wisdom, ‘The Tamworth Reading Room’, Idea of a University, Rise and Progress of Universities), Newman distinguishes the important functions of theology and the Catholic Church from the single, essential goal of liberal education, namely the development of a philosophical habit of mind. He brings out the dialectical tensions in the polarities of university and college, professor and tutor, personal influence and discipline, and in particular intellectual development and morality. The chapter takes on various interpreters and critics of Newman’s educational views, both during his lifetime—for example, the utilitarian ‘Knowledge School’ of Peel, Brougham, and Bentham—and in the scholarship of today.

Keywords: liberal education, controversialist, philosophy, rhetoric, theology, Catholicism, Utilitarianism, Tamworth Reading Room, Idea of a University, Rise and Progress of Universities

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