Role of Art, Religion and Morality in Higher Education

Hans Kolstad

Abstract


The great need that exists towday for moral and spiritual impulses in educational methods confronts us with the most fundamental problems in modern spiritual life – problems connected with the forms assumed by our culture and civilization in the course of human history. We are living in an age when certain spheres of culture, though originally they all were one, have yet became separated from one another. In the first place we have knowledge or science, communicated, for the most part, by the intellect alone. Then there is the sphere of art, where man tries to give expression to profound inner experiences. Again we have the religious strivings of man, wherein he seeks to unite his own existence with the life of the universe. Lastly, we try to bring forth from our inner being impulses which place us as moral beings in the civilized life of the world.
In this paper I will explore the reasons for the gap between the abstract intellect and the humanities. What is the reason for the abstract intellect? How has it become subjugated to its technical aspects, career pathways and employability? What are the deeper roots of the intellect, and how are art, religion and morality part of these roots, having all four a common origin? It is of no value only to criticize this evolution of human thought. On the contrary, we should learn to understand the necessity of the reintegration of knowledge, art, religion and morality into a new transdisciplinary practice in higher education and to resolve the challenges and the riddles that this necessity confronts us with if we want to lay a foundation for a new and better human society.

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