What Your University Won't Teach You...

In a talk given at The Veritas Forum at Louisiana State University in February 2008, Dallas Willard asks where moral teaching is to be found and why it has disappeared from university life. Or in other words: 'What Your University Won't Teach You, But You Are Apt to Catch Anyway'.

What is the point of knowing good if you don’t keep trying to become a good person?

The talk lasts for about 1 hour, with 30 minutes of questions and answers.
We apologise for the occasional slight glitches in the audio in this talk, which were present in the original recording.

In his talk, Professor Willard references a number of articles and books and gives an extended quotation from Jürgen Habermas. These are given below for ease of access.

John J. Mearsheimer ‘The Aims of Education’ Philosophy and Literature April 1998 Volume 22, No. 1, pp.137-155. Also John Mearsheimer, 'The Aims of Education Address' The University of Chicago Record, October 23, 1997.

Julie A. Reuben The making of the modern university: intellectual transformation and the marginalization of morality, University of Chicago Press 1996.

Robert Coles ‘The disparity between intellect and character’ The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 22, 1995.

Jürgen Habermas: "Christianity has functioned for the normative self-understanding of modernity as more than a mere precursor or a catalyst. Egalitarian universalism, from which sprang the ideas of freedom and social solidarity, of an autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, of the individual morality of conscience, human rights, and democracy, is the direct heir to the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in the light of the current challenges of a postnational constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk." (From ‘Conversation about God and the World.’ Time of transitions. Cambridge: Polity Press 2006, pp150-151. There appear to be various versions of this quotation available on the net. For this version, see http://www.soc.iastate.edu/sapp/soc401habermas.pdf (on page 7), which is itself apparently taken from wikipedia).

© 2008 Dallas Willard
This talk is published here by the kind permission of The Veritas Forum.