Time Spent With the Harvard Classics: The Idea of A University – Newman

John Henry Newman was an Anglican priest, poet and theologian who became a Catholic cardinal.  He lived between February 21, 1801 and August 11, 1890 and was an important and controversial figure in English religious history.

During his life, he became a leader of the Oxford Movement -a group of Anglicans who sought to return many Catholic beliefs and liturgical rituals.  In 1845, Newman officially returned to the Catholic church and was ordained as a priest.  Continuing in his influence, he was made a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879.  In the process, he was instrumental in the found of the Catholic University of Ireland which became University College Dublin.

With respect to his contributions in literature, his major writings include the Tracts For the Times, his autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua, the Grammar of Assent and the poem The Dream of Gerontius.  The latter of whiche was set to music by no less than Edward Elgar in 1900.

During his life, he was also renown for his lectures. One of his Dublin series of lectures was on The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated.  From these lectures, it came to be that the British popularized the ideal that education should aim at producing generalists rather than narrowing studies as specialists and that knowledge of the arts and science trains the minds to learn well the skills and knowledge necessary to a broad spectrum of vocations.

You may read The Idea of A University, Chapter III:  University Life At Athens here:


In addition, a presentation on this work may be viewed here:

About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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