Eric Voegelin: Prophet to the Modern Academy, by Robert Woods.

Eric Voegelin (1901– 1985) penned an essay entitled On Classical Studies (1973)–an essay that was shaped by the Classical west and the Christian faith and is philosophically opposed to the distortions of Enlightenment rationalism.

Reading Voegelin is akin to reading Amos or Joel. But instead of ancient Israel, it is the modern academy that is being rebuked. Here are just a few portions from his essay On Classical Studies to illustrate the significant problem that had occurred by 1973, “the fragmentation of science through specialization and the deculturation of Western society…specialized histories…institutional reduction…the life of reason; the end of ineluctable condition of personal and social order, has been destroyed.” In addition, Voegelin says, “the climate of our universities certainly is hostile to the life of reason…the fanatically accelerated destruction of the university since the Second World War…a pathological deformation of existence.”

This essay is a powerful indictment of the spirit of the age and the 1970s that had been a logical extension of the 1960s and earlier. But, all is not lost. There are always those who are in opposition to the new dark ages of the modern university. Voegelin paints a dark picture of higher education, but does not despair.

Read the complete article in The Imaginative Conservative

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Kerygma