A Survey of Greek Civilization

A Survey of Greek Civilization

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A Survey of Greek Civilization

A Survey of Greek Civilization

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Excerpt

There is, I think, a strong tendency in the present day to pursue the threads of knowledge separately. It is on the whole a wholesome tendency, though it sacrifices breadth and variety of acquisition to thoroughness in each department. A herd of specialists is rising up, each master of his own subject, but absolutely ignorant and careless of all that is going on around him in kindred studies. The man who has turned his mind to various pursuits, and has endeavored to embrace in his view many fields of research, is even looked upon with suspicion, instead of respect, and presumed to be inaccurate in each of the particular fields which occupy so many special students exclusively.

I fear that this separation is being carried out beyond its legitimate or useful degree even in the separation of secular and religious subjects, of intellectual and moral studies. To take the most signal example: In the Roman Catholic Church it is an avowed principle that theology is the only necessary science for the education of a priest, that this theology, far from being enlightened, is likely to be endangered by secular knowledge. On the other hand, the scientist generally stands aloof from theology, and too often expresses his contempt for it as a non-progressive science, or if he be of a better moral fiber, and acknowledges the weight and importance of religion, he is ready to accept, as a mere layman, what his pastor or other clerical adviser may teach.

The result is a loss of breadth on the theological side . . .

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