"The Idea of a University [is an] eloquent defense of a liberal education which is perhaps the most timeless of all [Newman’s] books and certainly the one most intellectually accessible to readers of every religious faith and of none. . . . [O]nly one who has read The Idea of a University in its entirety, especially the nine discourses, can hope to understand why its reputation is so high: why the first reading of this book has been called an ‘epoch’ in the life of a college man; why Walter Pater thought it ‘the perfect handling of a theory’; why the historian G. M. Young has ranked it with Aristotle’s Ethics among the most valuable of all works on the aim of Education; or why Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch told his students at Cambridge that ‘of all the books written in these hundred years there is perhaps none you can more profitably thumb and ponder.’” —from the introduction by Martin J. Svaglic
John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) was an Anglican priest, poet and theologian and later a Catholic cardinal, who was an important and controversial figure in the religious history of England in the 19th century.
Martin J. Svaglic (1916-1998) taught English at Loyola University Chicago for almost 45 years until retiring in 1983. Svaglic served as the Frederick Ives Carpenter Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. During his career, Svaglic became a leading authority in nineteenth-century literature, with a focus on John Henry Newman and the Oxford Movement.
“It is a classic; like so many classics, however, and alas, it is largely forgotten or too seldom read. This is decidedly not because it is difficult to read; it is wonderfully readable, and the reading of it will, we urge you to believe, transform the imagination of any student. In nine interconnected essays, Newman defines the nature of the true university and the purpose of education—knowledge as an end in itself—and defends, by extolling, the liberal arts.” —The American Citizen
“Martin Svaglic’s introduction and notes are helpful to the general reader and indispensable to the student. Notre Dame Press is to be commended for reissuing the only complete text of The Idea of a University . . .” —Catholic New Times