“From Humanism to the Humanities: A Book Review”
Richard Tristano, Department of History
Tuesday February 7th, 7:00, Common Room, 3rd Floor St. Mary’s Hall
From Humanism to the Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Europe by Anthony Grafton and Lisa Jardine, set off quite a controversy when published. The authors chart the transition from Renaissance humanism, which claimed that the liberal arts formed character as well as trained the mind, to the humanities as a curriculum of study whose purpose was to gain social status. In the process the authors challenge many cherished beliefs about the Renaissance and the authenticity of the liberal arts. The presentation will review the essential argument of the authors and then will ask if at Saint Mary’s University we have the goal of the moral education of our students, or if we are in the business of offering education as an investment and an entrée into the power structure.