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A Theology of Higher Education$
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Mike Higton

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199643929

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199643929.001.0001

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The Sociable University

The Sociable University

(p.197) 7 The Sociable University
A Theology of Higher Education

Mike Higton

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that higher education properly provides an induction into a certain kind of moral community: a reasoning community united by forms of virtuous exchange. The members of that community call one another to account, try to take alternative views seriously, aim to review fairly and to critique robustly, and so on. There are, of course, plenty of vicious exchanges in academic life, but far from such vicious exchanges being the true life of the modern university, they are in fact parasitic upon patterns of virtuous exchange. Patterns of virtuous sociality are the real structures that allow academic disciplines to function as practices of reason – and to take responsibility for the flourishing of the conversational ecologies of university life is the primary form that academic leadership should take.

Keywords:   intellectual sociality, conversation, reason, higher education, academic disciplines

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