'Clutching the wheel of St Catherine;' or a visit to a re-enchanted college

Book chapter

Wilson, S. 2017. 'Clutching the wheel of St Catherine;' or a visit to a re-enchanted college. in: Voss, A. and Wilson, S. (ed.) Re-enchanting the Academy Auckland Rubedo Press. pp. 53-66
AuthorsWilson, S.
EditorsVoss, A. and Wilson, S.

This chapter argues that the obsession with metering, monitoring, benchmarks and outcomes in contemporary education has depleted and disenchanted the process of learning. It finds that these phenomena are symptoms of a universal spiritual malaise, what the French thinker René Guénon called "the Reign of Quantity". Playfully and seriously, the chapter goes on to argue that in the twentieth century St Catharine's College, Cambridge resisted the Reign of Quantity, and became a centre for the re-enchantment of learning. It develops this argument by examining the teaching and charismatic presence of the college's Director of Studies in English, Thomas Rice Henn. It goes on to show that at least two of his students - Malcolm Lowry and Patrick Harpur - carried forward this enchantment in their works, albeit in very different ways. It is thus still available.

KeywordsRené Guénon; imagination and enchantment in contemporary education; T.R. Henn; Malcolm Lowry; Patrick Harpur
Page range53-66
Book titleRe-enchanting the Academy
PublisherRubedo Press
Output statusPublished
Place of publicationAuckland
Publication dates
Print26 May 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Jun 2018

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