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FRIENDSOFWISDOM  May 2006

FRIENDSOFWISDOM May 2006

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Subject:

Re: knowledge, education and wisdom - a course outline

From:

Cherryl Martin <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Group concerned that academia should seek and promote wisdom <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 22 May 2006 21:17:54 +0100

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (162 lines) , Steiner schools.doc (162 lines)


Dear All,

I have attached a word file containing a selection of articles on the
Rudolph Steiner School system for your interest. 

The course outline Thomas submitted sounds fascinating

Cheers

Cherryl




-----Original Message-----
From: Group concerned that academia should seek and promote wisdom
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Thomas Clough Daffern
Sent: 22 May 2006 6:29 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: knowledge, education and wisdom - a course outline

Dear fellow friends of wisdom 

Re course on KNOWLEDGE, EDUCATION AND WISDOM 

I thought as a contribution to this exchange I would share the details of a 
course I taught at the University of London back in 1994. It was an evening 
class for Birkbeck College, technically in the religious studies section, 
under then Director, Lord Combermere. It was well attended and I kept 
copious notes, which I have meant to turn into a book one day - just haven't

had time to write it up. As you can see I approached the question of what is

wisdom from the standpoint of a historian of educational, philosophical and 
religious ideas, asking not what I might think wisdom is or how to be 
defined, but asking instead, what have the great spiritual and intellectual 
cultures of world history defined wisdom as, and also, closely related, how 
have they defined education and also knowledge. These three are not the same

thing, but they are in the same part of the forest.
1994 

It was a comprehensive enough course (lasting some 12 evening lectures if I 
recall) but of course I was only really scratching the surface. One could do

a whole such series on each of the traditions I covered. 

If anyone would be interested in running a day conference on these themes, 
or inviting me to do a similar set of evening classes at their university, 
or even running such a series yourselves, then do get in touch. One thing I 
do feel - whereas there may be competition in education (as trivially 
defined) and even in knowledge (seen as accumulation) in wisdom there is 
sharing. 

 

Course outline: 


KNOWLEDGE, EDUCATION AND WISDOM IN THE WORLD'S RELIGIOUS AND  PHILOSOPHICAL 
TRADITIONS: 

This course of lectures by Thomas Daffern consisted of a survey of attitudes

to education & scholarship in the world's different religious & 
philosophical traditions. 

Topics considered included: * the historical development of schools, 
literacy, libraries, Universities, colleges, and specialised institutions of

learning such as observatories, teaching hospitals, scientific academies 
etc. * higher education, academic freedom & responsibility in different 
religious and cultural contexts;  * the history of the relationships between

religious authority and the teaching profession;  *  the relationship 
between religious and secular education and attitudes in different 
traditions to humanistic and scientific learning;  *  the history of textual

criticism and the relationship between the study of sacred texts and the 
transmission of oral and ritual learning traditions;  *  education as 
spiritual initiation and associated attitudes to "ultimate reality" in 
different traditions;  *  the tension between religious education as 
"indoctrination" and as "education for spiritual liberation" and the related

tension between exotericism and esotericism in education;   * the varying 
roles of the state and government in education & scholarship, and debates 
about pluralism, funding, control, separatism, fundamentalism & secularism 
in education;  *  the history of education & scholarship in different 
philosophical schools and traditions, both in antiquity and in the modern 
era  * the history of ecumenical & inter-faith education. 

A major purpose of the course was to locate educational and scholarly 
resources within the major religious & philosophical traditions under 
consideration to serve as ethical markers in the development of education 
for peace & global responsibility.  The main emphasis of the course was  on 
higher education but attention was  given to all levels of the educational 
process, including the education of children and adult education, with 
education being conceived as a holistic life-long process of intellectual & 
spiritual growth. 

Among the areas we specifically focused on were the following:  * Primal 
religions, prehistory and the origins of education & learning: oral 
traditions & mythologies of knowledge *  from Paleolithic culture to the 
ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia, Egypt & ancient Persia * Education in 
the ancient civilisations of Sumeria & Mesopotamia: cuneiform literacy & 
creation myths *  Education & religion in Egypt: from antiquity through 
Hellenistic Alexandria * Education & religion in ancient Canaan & Palestine:

the impact of the alphabet, Phoenicia, Ras Shamra, Mari, Ebla etc. *  
Judaism and the history of education in Israel: ancient texts & Rabbinical 
knowledge *  Religion & learning in Greek culture: the philosophical schools

& the development of academic scholarship * Persian religion and the role of

education: Zoroaster & the Magi: the divinisation of Wisdom * Religion and 
learning in Roman civilisation: Latin approaches to knowledge * Christian 
spirituality & education: in search of the Logos  *  Islam & education: 
Quranic sources, the Hadith, the Sufis & Islamic philosophers on the 
importance of learning *  Philosophy & education in China: Confucius, 
Mencius, Lao Tsu, Chuang Tsu, Mo Tsu, and Cha'an: in search of the lost mind

of goodness * The Indian contribution: The Vedas & Hinduism, Yoga & the 
ancient Indian philosophical schools: Jains, Sikhs; education for liberation

*  Buddhist approaches to learning: Buddhism as a vehicle of gnostic 
soteriology, the path of enlightenment, Zen  and the diamond path of 
enlightenment *  Japan: Shintoism & Zen traditions of learning *  Mediaeval 
educational developments: the rise of the Universities, the importance of 
the Islamic & Jewish contributions *  The Renaissance, the era of 
globalisation & the rise of modern philosophy & inter-cultural exploration  
*  Early modern European education during the renaissance, reformation & 
counter reformation * The 17th Century: the rise of modern philosophy & 
scientific education    * The Long Enlightenment & modernity: the 
politicisation of knowledge in the era of democratic  revolutions *  The 
18th Century: the French revolution & the Republic of letters *  The 19th 
century: Empires of learning & the professionalisation of  knowledge*  19th 
& 20th Century educational & spiritual developments: the contemporary global

politics of knowledge, education & wisdom 


Many thanks 

Thomas Clough Daffern 

www.educationaid.net 

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