Church, State, and Education

Church, State, and Education

Church, State, and Education

Church, State, and Education

Excerpt

The title of this volume -- Church, State, and Education -- was suggested to my mind by the mediaeval triad Regnum Sacerdotium Studium -- a triad which was known to the thought of Byzantium as well as in the Latin West. Some of the contents of the volume are specifically devoted to the Regnum or, as we should now say, the State; others are concerned with the life and organization of the Church; the last three deal more especially with problems and issues of Education or, as the Greeks called it, Paideia. But there is no firm or fixed line of division between the different themes, which run naturally into one another: an essay such as that on The Unity of Mediaeval Civilization is concerned with the general nature of the community of the Middle Ages, including both Church and State as well as matters and questions of education.

The nine essays here printed appeared together for the first time (along with three others which have now been omitted because they were outmoded or because later reflection condemned them to limbo) in a volume which was published some quarter of a century ago. They are arranged not in the order of their composition, but rather in a rough chronological sequence according to the times and periods with which they are concerned. As I reflect on the different dates at which they were written, I ask myself whether they show any development -- or inconsistency -- of thought. I am moved, in this connection, to repeat some words which I used in the Preface to the original edition of 1930. "I am not at all sure that the essays are consistent. On the other hand I should have been surprised, and indeed alarmed, if there had been no inconsistencies. The various pieces were written during a period of remarkable change. Not to have changed with the changing times would only have argued a wooden sort of consistency."

I doubt, then, if there is any development of thought in these essays -- development, that is to say, in the sense of alteration -- though there may be some inconsistencies. But in the earliest essays -- the second and sixth in this volume -- I was perhaps more inclined to what is called 'pluralism' -- an exaltation of the claim of groups vis-a-vis the State -- than I was in later days and in my later writings. I then felt strongly the tension between the regnum -- the 'sovereign' authority of the secular State -- and the free play of . . .

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