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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Why Study the Humanities?
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'The quick answer to that question is because you cannot do without them. Once upon a time, long, long ago in the 1960s, when all the world was young, I taught at the University of Sussex, in the South of England, which then prided itself on its bold thinking – naturally, “outside” every possible box – and on its sweeping ability to re-imagine and reconstruct the curriculum according to the needs of the modern world. A problem area for the most vocal modernists, however, was Religious Studies, which seemed to smack of the very outmoded ways of thinking they were trying to transcend. It was a small “subject group” – we had nothing so traditional as “Departments” – with only three members. Unfortunately, it was popular with a surprisingly large number of students. But there came a time when the Muslim had study leave in Cairo to complete an important book; the Buddhist had retreated in mystic contemplation at the top of a Himalayan pass; and there remained only the Christian to try and carry on with the classes of all three. Quite predictably, he complained to the Dean about his extra workload. Quite predictably, the Dean expressed his most profound sympathy, and did nothing at all. The overworked Christian then pulled out his ace card: “Since you are not prepared to address this crisis constructively, you leave me no choice but to accept the offer of a fellowship in Cambridge, which Sidney Sussex has been holding open for me for the past three months”. And, to the consternation of what was left of his subject group, and many outside it, he departed for the fens of East Anglia.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon The Free Mind : Essays and Poems in Honour of Barry Spurr Catherine Runcie (editor), Revesby : Edwin H. Lowe Publishing , 2016 10728339 2016 anthology poetry essay

    'For over forty years, Barry Spurr has created a significant body of work in English literary scholarship, spanning a wide range of fields from Early Modern literature to contemporary Australian poetry. Barry Spurr is acknowledged as a leading scholar in the fields of religious literature and liturgical language, most notably in the works of Renaissance poet John Donne, the Modernist poet T.S. Eliot, and the language and literature of the Anglo-Catholic tradition. He was appointed by the University of Sydney as Australia's first Professor of Poetry and Poetics, and holds a notable reputation as a teacher and mentor to students, and as a friend to peers and colleagues. He has also been notable as a public intellectual, with a particular interest in the role of literature in the modern education system, and the role of the humanities in the modern university.

    'This book is a collection of scholarly papers, contemplative essays and poems, written or contributed in honour of Barry Spurr. The Festschrift's contributors include his former teachers and mentors, his students and colleagues, and includes scholars and public intellectuals in his fields of scholarship or public interest. This Festschrift is a very fine collection of poetry, public discourse and literary criticism, on topics ranging from the works of William Shakespeare, to John Milton, T.S. Eliot, Charles Dickens, and Wilfred Owen, in addition to scholarship on liturgical language and religious and literary philosophy.' (Publication summary)

    Revesby : Edwin H. Lowe Publishing , 2016
Last amended 14 Feb 2017 13:07:33
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