The early universities (Paris, Bologna, Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard) had Christian religion at their core. The University of Paris, for instance, stood at the heart of the spiritual life of its age, but such universities, wrote Richard Hofstadter,
"were scarcely less important as agencies of practical life, whose work was as relevant to the ecclesiastical and political life of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries as the modern university is to the scientific and industrial life of our time."The 1650 charter for Harvard College spoke of "the advancement of all good literature, artes and Sciences," "in knowledge: and godliness."
Edward Reynolds, a Puritan author, correctly observed:
All truth must by definition come from God, and all knowledge of truth be ultimately knowledge of Him; but we must recognize that "there is a knowledge of God natural in and by his works and a knowledge supernatural by revelation out of the Word; and though this be the principal, yet the other is not to be under-valued."Reynolds also wrote affirmatively of such education and how "Sanctified Wit beautifies Religion, sanctified Reason defends it, sanctified power protects it, sanctified Elocution perswades others to the love of it."
Many once church-related institutions, however, have long since become indistinguishable from other universities and colleges, keeping the ceremonial robes without the theology, the pomp without the purpose.
Monday, September 23, 2013
Today's Maxwell Quote
From We Will Prove Them Herewith (1982), 82: