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Augustine and Liberal Education

reviewed by Daniel Hendrickson - January 15, 2009

coverTitle: Augustine and Liberal Education
Author(s): Kim Paffenroth and Kevin L. Hughes (Eds.)
Publisher: Lexington Books, Lanham, MD
ISBN: 0739123831, Pages: 215, Year: 2008
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In my undergraduate ethics course recently, I asked the students whether they would side with Saint Augustine or Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The option was a choice between Original Sin and the Noble Savage, that is, Augustine’s concern about a sinful human condition which craves salvation and Rousseau’s own contrasting version of an original pristine innocence fearful of corruption. With a chatty group often poised for debate, silence lingered. I reminded the students that they had read Augustine’s Confessions in a prior course, and that in our previous classroom session we had postured ourselves for Rousseau’s Emile, and its opening line, that, “Everything is good as it leaves the hands of the Author of things...” (Rousseau, 1979, p. 37). Terms – Original Sin itself, Rousseau’s opposing correlate, amour-de-soi – had been named and partially defined, and, moreover, all of the first book of the Emile was to have already been read. Silence... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 15, 2009
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15481, Date Accessed: 7/27/2021 5:04:31 PM

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About the Author
  • Daniel Hendrickson
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    DANIEL HENDRICKSON, MA, MDIV, is a doctoral candidate in the Philosophy and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University and an adjunct professor of philosophy at Fordham University. He has taught philosophy at Creighton University in Omaha, NE, and in East Africa, at the Salvatorian Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Morogoro, TZ. A member of the Jesuits, his interests range from ideals of the early Italian Renaissance to higher education in sub-Sahara Africa.
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