“We have entered a spiritual limbo…”

Sir Roger Scruton - Spiritual Limbo

Indeed.

And let us pray that it does not take a thousand years to come out of the Dark Age into which we seem to be descending!

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The End of the University by Roger Scruton | Articles | First Things

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Spring scenes on West Campus, Duke University. Students on the Academic Quad with Perkins Library in background.

Source: The End of the University by Roger Scruton | Articles | First Things

Philosopher Roger Scruton shares some typically penetrating and enlightening, but rather sobering, thoughts on the role of the university, and how modern universities are abandoning this vital function. Inter alia:

Universities exist to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and culture that will prepare them for life, while enhancing the intellectual capital upon which we all depend. Evidently the two purposes are distinct.

One concerns the growth of the individual, the other our shared need for knowledge. But they are also intertwined, so that damage to the one purpose is damage to the other. That is what we are now seeing, as our universities increasingly turn against the culture that created them, withholding it from the young.

The years spent at university belong with the rites of initiation studied by the Victorian anthropologists, in which those born into the tribe assume the burden of perpetuating it. If we lose sight of this, it seems to me, then we are in danger of detaching the university from its social and moral purpose, which is that of handing on both a store of knowledge and the culture that makes sense of it.

Sadly, I fear that we are more than “in danger” of detaching the university from its social and moral purpose. I think this has already happened, and the rift is widening! Nonetheless, this is definitely worth a read, as is just about everything written by Scruton.

Why Beauty Matters: Roger Scruton – YouTube

“Art once made a cult of beauty. Now we have a cult of ugliness instead. This has made art into an elaborate joke, one which by now has ceased to be funny.”

Truth, goodness, and beauty were once the pillars of art, philosophy, intellectual discourse — society itself — in the West. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Now “pop culture” (its very name suggesting its throwaway nature) mocks all three.
Beauty is replaced by abstraction and intentional ugliness, truth by propaganda and political “spin,” goodness by self-interest and utilitarian “ethics.” Over all is sprayed a glittering but corrosive coating of irony and sarcasm. I pray the pendulum may soon start to swing back, before it’s too late for Western culture ever to recover.