ACADEMIC ILLUSION by Denis Baly

ACADEMIC ILLUSION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Denis Baly is a college teacher (Kenyon College). He is concerned and disturbed by the situation he finds in the academic community. He writes about the crisis in the classroom, with student and teacher the victims alike of tensions and rivalries which defeat the good learning that ought to flourish and abound. Authority and power in the trustees and administration all too successfully stifle the free search for truth which ought to prevail. The alumni and the fraternities are a good deal less than helpful, and altogether it is possible to describe the college community as a collapsing community, spurred on by the pressures of ever greater specialization, both of knowledge and of function, and there is in the academic world the same fear of meaningless which can be found outside. It is a devastating criticism, the more so because it is undertaken in love. The second part of the book shows how the author believes ""the Christian argument"" has direct relevance to this situation, how the Christian faith provides that position of security from which every possible illusion may be examined, and how it gives meaning to humiliation and insecurity. Dr. Baly pleads for the boldness of Christian witness on the campus, the more especially since it will surely be ridiculed and attacked. But ""it is essential that the Truth be tested, and it must need be that the Christ suffer...In the academic world Christ places himself again at men's disposal and submits to their attacks, and in this work he must not be hindered."" This is a book of great significance to all who administer and teach in colleges, whether church related or not. It addresses itself to their disturbed condition,-- and points with assurance to the true source of hope.

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 1960
Publisher: Seabury