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ERIC Number: EJ991962
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0316-1218
Disenchantment and the Liberal Arts
Lathangue, Robin
Canadian Journal of Higher Education, v42 n2 p67-78 2012
This paper is an enquiry into the unpredictability of the liberally educated mind. We are all familiar with the value placed on the word "critical" when it figures prominently in justifications for liberal arts pedagogy, as in "a liberal arts education should foster the capacity for critical thinking." However, depending on the milieu in which "critical thinking" is habituated, the meaning of the term may degrade into a theoretical conformity and passive assent to established routines which are inevitably expressions of disapproval. This trajectory is described as "disenchantment". Its origins are traced to representations of the intellectual as a distinctly secular creature and, in contemporary philosophical developments, associated with political liberalism--both of which, it is argued, are dominated by fear. Drawing on the recent Catholic "Communio" theology of David Schindler as a way to unveil the repressed theologies and hidden ontologies of liberal neutrality, the paper concludes with a brief examination of liberal arts scholarship that is increasingly open to various models of enchantment.
Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education. P.O. Box 34091, RPO Fort Richmond, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5T5, Canada. Tel: 204-474-6404; Fax: 204-474-7561; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada