"The Idea of a University" by John Henry Newman

The Idea of a University John Henry Newman, Frank M. Turner

Rethinking the Western Tradition
Publication date:
29 May 1996
Yale University Press
400 pages: 210 x 140mm
2 b-w illus.

Since its publication almost 150 years ago, The Idea of a University has had an extraordinary influence on the shaping and goals of higher education. The issues that John Henry Newman raised—the place of religion and moral values in the university setting, the competing claims of liberal and professional education, the character of the academic community, the cultural role of literature, the relation of religion and science—have provoked discussion from Newman's time to our own. This edition of The Idea of a University includes the full text of "University Teaching" and four selections from "University Subjects," together with five essays by leading scholars that explore the background and the present day relevance of Newman's themes.

In the essays Martha Garland discusses the character and organization of the early nineteenth-century English universities upon which Newman based much of his vision; Frank M. Turner traces the impact of Newman's influence during the vast expansion of higher education since World War II; George Marsden investigates how the decreasing emphasis on religion has affected higher education; Sara Castro Klaren examines the implications of Newman's views on education and literature for current debates between proponents of a curriculum based on western civilization and one based on multiculturalism; and George Landow considers what the advent of electronic communication will mean to university teaching, research, and community. To aid accessibility, the edition also includes an analytical table of contents, a chronology and biographical sketch of Newman's life, questions for discussion, expanded notes, and a glossary of names, all of which will help make this the standard teaching text for Newman's work.

Frank M. Turner is the John Hay Whitney Professor of History at Yale University. Martha McMackin Garland is associate professor of history and associate dean of the College of Humanities at Ohio State University. Sara Castro Klaren is research professor of Latin American literature and culture at Johns Hopkins University. George P. Landow is professor of English and art history at Brown University. George M. Marsden is the Francis A. McAneney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

"The Idea of a University is not, then, just a classic in the history of educational thought; it is as much a theological work as any Newman wrote."?Paul Dean, New Criterion

"This volume, especially the essays by American educators, bears testimony to [Newman's] far-reaching vision."?America

"Impeccably edited, with challenging commentaries and enough scholarly apparatus to satisfy an academic audience without intimidating the lay reader."?Gertrude Himmelfarb, Wall Street Journal

"This volume . . . offers a clear challenge to our complacent assumption that there is a coherence somewhere in the disheveled haystack of modern higher education though we have yet to define even the terms in which we might define it."?Don Gifford, Boston Book Review

"This new edition of The Idea of a University should renew the debates to which Newman and his Idea gave rise a century and a half ago, helping us better to see our universities today."?Michael A. Testa, Canadian Catholic Review

"The new edition is meant to be an accessible and inexpensive collection that can be used for teaching; this intention has been fulfilled."?Sheldon Rothblatt, Lychnos

"For many, the Idea remains the finest of all commentaries on what a university is and what it does for its students."?John R. Griffin, Catholic Historical Review