Cultivating Christian Citizenship: Martha Nussbaum’s Socrates, Augustine’s Confessions, and the Modern University

Michael Beaty and Anne-Marie Bowery

In her recent book, Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education, classicist and philosopher Martha Nussbaum defends a familiar ideal of liberal learning, one deeply indebted to political liberalism. In this essay, Michael Beaty and Anne-Marie Bowery critique this ideal of American higher education on two grounds. They contend that it is based on a problematic epistemological stance and that it draws on philosophical accounts of freedom and autonomy uncongenial to traditional Christian accounts of humanity and citizenship. They present a different model of higher education, one that takes classically humanistic sources and specifically Christian resources into account. In doing so, it honors the legitimate claims of both secular and religious learning. Mr. Beaty is Professor of Philosophy and Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Ms. Bowery is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University.

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Last Updated: October 29, 2003
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