The Schooled Heart
Moral Formation in American Higher Education
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Baylor University Press
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Introduction: Retrieving the Tradition, Remembering the End
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The title of the volume you hold in your hands discloses our answer to a controversial question, a question that stands at the center of many debates about the nature and purpose of the modern American university. That question, quite simply, is this: should moral education figure centrally, or at all, among the purposes of the modern university? To that question, we offer...
Part I. American Higher Education’s Unschooled Heart
Chapter 1. Liberal Education, Moral Education, and Religion
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Liberal education comes in various shapes and sizes. I will discuss two historically influential conceptions of liberal education, both of which have clear implications for how we think of moral education. Though their emphases are different, they are, in fact, complementary, and I will argue that an adequate account of moral education requires that we draw on both. I will also argue...
Chapter 2. Free Love and Christian Higher Education: Reflections on a Passage from Plato’s Theaetetus
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Plato’s Theaetetus begins with Socrates inquiring of Theodorus the geometer whether he knows of any young men “devoting themselves to geometry or to any other sort of liberal study” (143d).1 Theodorus commends Theaetetus, a youth who combines “a rare quickness of intelligence with exceptional gentleness and . . ....
Chapter 3. Returning Moral Philosophy to American Higher Education
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Imagine yourself as an undergraduate attending a college that takes with utmost seriousness the moral formation of its students. In addition to earnest appeals to civic virtue in convocations and the occasional lecture, and encouragement to community service in dorms and college clubs, the curriculum culminates in a rigorous...
Chapter 4. Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana: Schooling the Heart in the Heart of Texas
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I believe that we live in dark times. By “we” I mean we Christians. We live in a country that is quite literally out of control. Possessed by power unchecked, Americans think we can do whatever we want to do. After September 11, 2001, moreover, Americans seem ready to do anything to return the world to normalcy. By “normal,” Americans mean...
Part II. Christian Resources for Moral Formation in the Academy
Chapter 5. Wisdom, Community, Freedom, Truth: Moral Education and the “Schooled Heart”
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Suppose it to be true that virtue could not be taught; that no firm principles could be deduced from any exemplar, that all learning was irreparably circumstantial, personalistic, autobiographical. Suppose further that the hard-core relativism of...
Chapter 6. Tracking the Toxins of Acedia: Reenvisioning Moral Education
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Charles Taylor’s influential little book, The Ethics of Authenticity, describes how modernity’s peculiar twist on the notion of authenticity has led people to deny their connection to something or someone that transcends them—what Taylor calls the inescapable horizons of significance.1 In particular, Taylor expresses...
Chapter 7. Could Humility Be a Deliberative Virtue?
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For much of the twentieth century, academic orthodoxy proclaimed that colleges and universities were not conduits of moral pedagogy. Here academic convention follows the tradition of John Stuart Mill, who said that the task of the modern university is not to tell students what to believe or how to live, “but to give [them] information and training, and help [them] form [their] own beliefs in a manner worthy of intelligent beings.”1 In...
Chapter 8. Cultivating Humility: Teaching Practices Rooted in Christian Anthropology
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Christian scholars have a long history of interest in virtues and virtue ethics, rooted especially in the work of Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas. According to Alasdair MacIntyre, a virtue is an “acquired human quality the possession and exercise of which tends to enable us to achieve those goods which are internal to practices and the lack of which effectively prevents us from achieving any such goods.”1 We...
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List of Contributors
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Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2007