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Newman, John Henry (Cardinal)

Taking its cue from Plato, Cicero, and St. Augustine, the medieval university asserted the primacy of a liberal education in the formation of the educated person. Little was added to this view until it was engaged by John Henry Newman (1801–1890) in the mid-19th century when liberal education and the classical ideals it represented came under severe criticism. This criticism was rooted in large part in the Industrial Revolution and the belief that studying the classics provided little preparation for social and economic progress in the new age of science and technology. Newman’s Idea of a University, first published in 1852 and one of the most celebrated books ever written on university education, stemmed the flood of criticism.

There are three reasons why Newman supported liberal ...

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