1

What does "where we should expect its heart" mean precisely in this context? First to what does "its" refer to? To "university"? Then, what does it mean to say "should expect something’s heart"? Does it mean when/if we try to/want to find its meaning/essence/goal/value, we would be left by void?

Rather than being one (insecure) discipline alongside others, theology should furnish an account of the nature and end of the intellectual life—and thus of the humanities (or ‘humane studies’, as he has it). According to Webster, all intellectual enquiry is necessarily informed by an underlying account of the nature and goal of the intellectual life. Remarkably, however, the university does not teach us anything about why the pursuit of intellectual goals (research, teaching, learning etc.) is indeed valuable. Hence, where we should expect its heart, we are in fact left with a void by ‘the flimsiness and ignobility of its understanding of what it is about’. Theology, however, should recognise ‘the place of intelligence within the economy of God’s life-giving and restorative love for rational creatures’.

1
  • It's heartless.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 3, 2022 at 13:46

2 Answers 2

1

Hence, where we should expect its heart, we are in fact left with a void by ‘the flimsiness and ignobility of its understanding of what it is about’.

Hence, where we should expect the university's conscience and compassion, we are in fact left with a void by ‘the flimsiness and ignobility of its understanding of what it is about’.

OED:

  1. a. The heart considered as the seat of the emotions generally; a person's emotional nature (often contrasted with the intellectual or rationalizing nature located in the head...)

OE Beowulf (2008) 2463 Swa Wedra helm æfter Herebealde heortan sorge weallinde wæg.

1962 F. G. Wilson Theory Public Opinion ix. 217 Christians often say the middle-class people are the epitome of greed, and they have, in the hardness of their hearts, no charity.

0

Heart follows the sentence: "Remarkably, however, the university does not teach us anything about why the pursuit of intellectual goals (research, teaching, learning etc.) is indeed valuable." Its "heart" (which I read in this context as its raison d'etre) should be to inculcate in students "why the pursuit of intellectual goals is valuable." Just pursuing intellectual goals is not enough.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.