For centuries the Christian academic tradition played a major role in both Western intellectual history and the history of the church. In this volume Arthur Holmes explores the tradition of learning, focusing on seven formative episodes in history that can have a contribution to make to the building and maintenance of a strong Christian academy today. For each historical period considered, Holmes probes the particular problems educators faced and discusses the major concerns that guided educational practice. By examining the thought of Plato, Origen, Abelard, Aquinas, Erasmus, Francis Bacon, John Henry Newman, and others, Holmes indentifies four recurring emphases at the heart of the Christian academy: the care of the soul, the unity of truth, contemplative learning, and the usefulness of liberal arts as preparation for service to both church and society. This insightful work makes a convincing case for reclaiming the theological foundations of learning for our day.
Until Relatively Recently, the history of higher education in the West was the story of a Christian academic tradition that played a major role in both intellectual history and the history of the church. Over the last one hundred years, however, we have witnessed the progressive secularization of higher education. George Marsden goes so far as to suggest that the American university has lost its soul. But what was that putatively Christian soul? Precisely what in the Christian tradition has now been lost? And what should we know about that tradition as a condition of practical wisdom for the present? Seeking to answer these questions, Arthur Holmes here explores the Christian tradition of learning, focusing on seven formative episodes in history that pertain to building and maintaining a strong Christian academy today. Holmes's fascinating treatment is set within the history of ideas -- the early church in a pagan culture, Augustine's formative influence on monastery and cathedral schools, the rise and decline of scholasticism, Renaissance humanism's contribution to the Protestant Reformation, the utilitarian view of education that accompanied the scientific revolution, and struggles with Enlightenment secularization -- and incorporates the educational thought of Plato and Isocrates, Clement and Origen, Abelard and Hugh of St. Victor, Aquinas and Bonaventure, Erasmus and the Reformers, Francis Bacon and John Milton, and John Henry Newman.