Greg Craven will explain how friends of the study of western civilisation can end the culture wars in a speech to the Sydney Institute tonight. Professor Craven’s address also (undoubtedly incidentally) makes a case why the Ramsay Centre for Western Civ might be comfortable at his Australian Catholic University.
The vice chancellor does not mention the Ramsay Centre or its many millions but he makes an argument for the study of the sources and causes of his idea of western civilisation and the consequences of both stridently defending and deploring it. And he uses ACU as an example of the way the work can be done.
“Universities are a central part of western culture. Indeed, they are the oldest continuous institutions of that culture, excepting the Catholic Church. Central to the mission of any Australian university is the need to strengthen students’ sense of belonging to this synthetic Australian expression of western culture. Indeed, as a beacon of civilisation, a university has a duty to help its society to appreciate the way in which art, ethics, religion and philosophy, as manifestations of that society’s spirit and values, can help society continue to reflect on what matters most as it moves forward,” he says.
So would he like Ramsay gold to help with the work? CMM asked and Professor Craven replied;
“ACU is so terrified of western civilisation that, as a Catholic university open to all, it is part of western civilisation’s oldest continuous institution. It has a campus in Rome, for God’s sake. It is not frightened of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Raphael, Shakespeare, Tolstoy or Hunter S. Thompson. Obviously, it would be open to a great books course founded in western culture, provided the particular course went through the usual processes of academic assurance and approval.”