JH Newman in his classic work, The Idea of a University argued that the academic achievement of time spent at university should not be seen as an end in itself, but a student should leave with part of the university etched on their soul.
On Monday, 13th November, I took a group of undergraduate students to the Swaminarayan Hindu temple (mandir) in Neasden, North London.
According to a dominant strain of thought now current in British universities, knowledge is some kind of economic good that ought to be utilised within the prevailing socio-economic order. Knowledge is no longer an end in itself, but something that needs to be harnessed as a means of economic production.
About six years ago, I was invited to write a book for the ‘Investigating Philosophy of Religion’ series, published by Routledge. This attracted my interest because Buddhism and philosophy of religion have fascinated me for over three decades. I have taught university modules about Buddhism for many years, and felt that I had plenty to write!
The graduation of our students is one of the highlights of the academic year. As historian interested in material culture I enjoy the act of dressing up in a fantasy gown (the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa abolished academic gowns for my alma mater, the University of Vienna,