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英汉双语《西南联大英文课》41:什么是大学?_约翰·亨利·纽曼

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2018年07月05日

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41 WHAT IS A UNIVERSITY?

By John Henry Newman

WHAT IS A UNIVERSITY?by John Henry Newman, from his Rise and Progress of Universities, Chapter II, reprinted in his Historical Sketches, Vol. I.

John Henry Newman (1801-1890), English theologian and author, known also as Cardinal Newman.

英汉双语《西南联大英文课》41:什么是大学?_约翰·亨利·纽曼

If I were asked to describe as briefly and popularly as I could, what a university was, I should draw my answer from its ancient designation of a Studium Generale, or “School of Universal Learning.” This description implies the assemblage of strangers from all parts in one spot—from all parts;else, how will you find professors and students for every department of knowledge; and in one spot; else, how can there be any school at all? Accordingly, in its simple and rudimental form, it is a school of knowledge of every kind, consisting of teachers and learners from every quarter. Many things are requisite to complete and satisfy the idea embodied in this description; but such as this a university seems to be in its essence, a place for the communication and circulation of thought, by means of personal intercourse, through a wide extent of country.

There is nothing far-fetched or unreasonable in the idea thus presented to us; and if this be a university, then a university does but contemplate a necessity of our nature, and is but one specimen in a particular medium, out of many which might be abduced in others, of a provision for that necessity. Mutual education, in a large sense of the word, is one of the great and incessant occupations of human society, carried on partly with set purpose, and partly not. One generation forms another; and the existing generation is ever acting and reacting upon itself in the persons of its individual members. Now, in this process, books, I need scarcely say, that is, the litera scripta, are one special instrument. It is true;and emphatically so in this age. Considering the prodigious powers of the press, and how they are developed at this time in the never-intermitting issue of periodicals, tracts, pamphlets, works in series, and light literature, we must allow there never was a time which promised fairer for dispensing with every other means of information and instruction. What can we want more, you will say, for the intellectual education of the whole man, and for every man, than so exuberant and diversified and persistent a promulgation of all kinds of knowledge? Why, you will ask, need we go up to knowledge, when knowledge comes down to us? The Sibyl wrote her prophecies upon the leaves of the forest, and wasted them;but here such careless profusion might be prudently indulged, for it can be afforded without loss, in consequence of the almost fabulous fecundity of the instrument which these latter ages have invented. We have sermons in stones, and books in the running brooks; works larger and more comprehensive than those which have gained for ancients an immortality, issue forth every morning, and are projected onward to the ends of the earth at the rate of hundreds of miles a day. Our seats are strewed, our pavements are powdered, with swarms of little tracts; and the very bricks of our city walls preach wisdom, by informing us by their placards where we can at once cheaply purchase it.

I allow all this, and much more; such certainly is our popular education, and its effects are remarkable. Nevertheless, after all, even in this age, whenever men are really serious about getting what, in the language of trade, is called “a good article,” when they aim at something precise, something refined, something really luminous, something really large, something choice, they go to another market;they avail themselves, in some shape or other, of the rival method, the ancient method, of oral instruction, of present communication between man and man, of teachers instead of learning, of the personal influence of a master, and the humble imitation of a disciple, and, in consequence, of great centers of pilgrimage and throng, which such a method of education necessarily involves. This, I think, will be found to hold good in all those departments or aspects of society which possess an interest sufficient to bind men together, or to constitute what is called “a world.” It holds in the political world, and in the high world, and in the religious world; and it holds also in the literary and scientific world.

If the actions of men may be taken as any test of their convictions then, we have reason for saying this, viz: that the province and the inestimable benefit of the litera scripta is that of being a record of truth, and an authority of appeal, and an instrument of teaching in the hands of a teacher; but that, if we wish to become exact and fully furnished in any branch of knowledge which is diversified and complicated, we must consult the living man and listen to his living voice. I am not bound to investigate the cause of this, and anything I say will, I am conscious, be short of its full analysis—perhaps we may suggest that no books can get through the number of minute questions which it is possible to ask on any extended subject, or can hit upon the very difficulties which are severally felt by each reader in succession. Or again, that no book can convey the special spirit and delicate peculiarities of its subject with that rapidity and certainty which attend on the sympathy of mind with mind, through the eyes, the look, the accent, and the manner, in casual expressions thrown off at the moment, and the unstudied turns of familiar conversation. But I am already dwelling too long on what is but an incidental portion of my main subject. Whatever be the cause, the fact is undeniable. The general principles of any study you may learn by books at home; but the detail, the color, the tone, the air, the life which makes it live in us, you must catch all these from those in whom it lives already. You must imitate the student in French or German, who is not content with his grammar, but goes to Paris or Dresden;you must take example from the young artist, who aspires to visit the great Masters in Florence and in Rome. Till we have discovered some intellectual daguerreotype, which takes of the course of thought, and the form, lineaments, and features of truth, as completely and minutely, as the optical instrument reproduces the sensible object, we must come to the teachers of wisdom to learn wisdom, we must repair to the fountain and drink there. Portions of it may go from thence to the ends of the earth by means of books; but the fullness is in one place alone. It is in such assemblages and congregations of intellect that books themselves, the masterpieces of human genius, are written, or at least originated.

The principle on which I have been insisting is so obvious, and instances in point are so ready, that I should think it tiresome to proceed with the subject, except that one or two illustrations may serve to explain my own language about it, which may not have done justice to the doctrine which it has been intended to enforce.

For instance, the polished manners and high-bred bearing which are so difficult of attainment, and so strictly personal when attained—which are so much admired in society, from society are acquired. All that goes to constitute a gentleman—the carriage, gait, address, gestures, voice; the ease, the self-possession, the courtesy, the power of conversing, the talent of not offending; the lofty principle, the delicacy of thought, the happiness of expression, the taste and propriety, the generosity and forbearance, the candor and consideration, the openness of hand—these qualities, some of them come by nature, some of them may be found in any rank, some of them are a direct precept of Christianity; but the full assemblage of them, bound up in the unity of an individual character, do we expect they can be learned from books? Are they not necessarily acquired, where they are to be found, in high society? The very nature of the case leads us to say so; you cannot fence without an antagonist, nor challenge all comers in disputation before you have supported a thesis;and in like manner, it stands to reason, you cannot learn to converse till you have the world to converse with; you cannot unlearn your natural bashfulness, or awkwardness, or stiffness, or other besetting deformity, till you serve your time in some school of manners. Well, and is it not so in matter of fact? The metropolis, the court, the great house of the land, are the centers to which at stated times the country comes up, as to shrines of refinement and good taste; and then in due time the country goes back again home, enriched with a portion of the social accomplishments, which these very visits serve to call out and heighten in the gracious dispensers of them. We are unable to conceive how the “gentleman” can otherwise be maintained; and maintained in this way it is.

And now a second instance; and here too I am going to speak without personal experience of the subject I am introducing. I admit I have not been in Parliament any more than I have figured in the beau monde; yet I cannot but think that statesmanship, as well as high breeding, is learned, not by books, but in certain centers of education. If it be not presumption to say so, Parliament puts a clever man au courant with politics and affairs of state in a way surprising to himself. A member of the legislature, if tolerably observant, begins to see things with new eyes, even though his views undergo no change. Words have a meaning now, and ideas a reality, such as they had not before. He hears a vast deal in public speeches and private conversation which is never put in print. The bearing of measures and events, the action of parties, and the persons of friends and enemies, are brought out to the man who is in the midst of them with a distinctness, which the most diligent perusal of newspapers will fail to impart to them. It is access to the fountainheads of political wisdom and experience, it is daily intercourse, of one kind or another, with the multitude who go up to them, it is familiarity with business, it is access to the contributions of fact and opinion thrown together by many witnesses from many quarters, which does this for him. However, I need not account for the fact, to which it is sufficient to appeal, that the Houses of Parliament and the atmosphere around them are a sort of university of politics.

As regards the whole world of science, we find a remarkable instance of the principle which I am illustrating, in the periodical meetings for its advance, which have arisen in the course of the last twenty years, such as the British Association. Such gatherings would to many persons appear at first sight simply preposterous. Above all subjects of study science is conveyed, is propagated, by books, or by private teachings;experiments and investigations are conducted in silence;discoveries are made in solitude. What have philosophers to do with festive celebrities, and panegyrical solemnities with mathematical and physical truth? Yet on a closer attention to the subject, it is found that not even scientific thought can dispense with the suggestions, the instruction, the stimulus, the sympathy, the intercourse with mankind on a large scale, which such meetings secure. A fine time of year is chosen, when days are long, skies are bright, the earth smiles and all nature rejoices; a city or town is taken by turns, of ancient name or modern opulence, where buildings are spacious and hospitality hearty. The novelty of place and circumstance, the excitement of strange, or the refreshment of well-known faces, the majesty of rank or genius, the amiable charities of men pleased both with themselves and with each other; the elevated spirits, the circulation of thought, the curiosity; the morning sections, the out-door exercise, the well-furnished, well-earned board, the not ungraceful hilarity, the evening circle; the brilliant lecture, the discussions or collisions or guesses of great men one with another, the narratives of scientific processes, of hopes, disappointments, conflicts, and successes, the splendid eulogistic orations; these and the like constituents of the annual celebration are considered to be something real and substantial for the advance of knowledge which can be done no other way. Of course they can but be occasional; they answer the annual act, or commencement, or commemoration of a university, not to its ordinary condition;but they are of a university nature; and I can well believe in their utility. They issue in the promotion of a certain living and, as it were, bodily communication of knowledge from one to another, of a general interchanging of ideas, and a comparison and adjustment of science with science, of an enlargement of mind, intellectual and social, of an ardent love of the particular study which may be chosen by each individual, and a noble devotion to its interests.

Such meetings, I repeat, are but periodical, and only partially represent the idea of a university. The bustle and whirl which are their usual concomitant, are in ill keeping with the order and gravity of earnest intellectual education. We desiderate means of instruction which involve no interruption of our ordinary habits; nor need we seek it long, for the natural course of things brings it about, while we debate over it. In every great country, the metropolis itself becomes a sort of necessary university, whether we will or no. As the chief city is the seat of the court, of high society, of politics, and of law, so as a matter of course is it the seat of letters also; and at this time, for a long term of years, London and Paris are in fact and in operation universities, though in Paris its famous university is no more, and in London a university scarcely exists except as a board of administration. The newspapers, magazines, reviews, museums and academies there found, the learned and scientific societies necessarily invest it with the functions of a university; and that atmosphere of intellect, which in a former age hung over Oxford or Bologna or Salamanca, has, with the change of times, moved away to the center of civil government. Thither come up youths from all parts of the country, the students of law, medicine, and the fine arts, and the employees and attachés of literature. There they live, as chance determines; and they are satisfied with their temporary home, for they find in it all that was promised to them there. They have not come in vain, as far as their own object in coming is concerned. They have not learned any particular religion, but they have learned their own particular profession well. They have, moreover, become acquainted with the habits, manners and opinions of their place of sojourn, and done their part in maintaining the tradition of them. We cannot then be without virtual universities;a metropolis is such: the simple question is, whether the education sought and given should be based on principle, formed upon rule, directed to the highest ends, or left to the random succession of masters and schools, one after another, with a melancholy waste of thought and an extreme hazard of truth.

Religious teaching itself affords us an illustration of our subject to a certain point. It does not indeed seat itself merely in centers of the world; this is impossible from the nature of the case. It is intended for the many, not the few; its subject matter is truth necessary for us, not truth recondite and rare; but it concurs in the principle of a university so far as this, that its great instrument, or rather organ, has ever been that which nature prescribes in all education, the personal presence of a teacher, or, in the theological language, Oral Tradition. It is the living voice, the breathing form, the expressive countenance, which preaches, which catechizes. Truth, a subtle, invisible, manifold spirit, is poured into the mind of the scholar by his eyes and ears, through his affections, imagination, and reason; it is poured into his mind and is sealed up there in perpetuity, by propounding and repeating it, by questioning and requestioning, by correcting and explaining, by progressing and then recurring to first principles, by all those ways which are implied in the word “catechizing.” In the first ages, it was a work of long time;months, sometimes years, were devoted to the arduous task of disabusing the mind of the incipient Christian of its pagan errors, and of molding it upon the Christian faith. The scriptures, indeed, were at hand for the study of those who could avail themselves of them; but St. Irenæus does not hesitate to speak of whole races, who had been converted to Christianity, without being able to read them. To be unable to read and write was in those times no evidence of want of learning: the hermits of the deserts were, in this sense of the word, illiterate; yet the great St. Anthony, although he knew not letters, was a match in disputation for the learned philosophers who came to try him. Didymus again, the great Alexandrian theologian, was blind. The ancient discipline, called the Disciplina Arcani, involved the same principle. The more sacred doctrines of Revelation were not committed to books, but passed on by successive tradition. The teaching on the Blessed Trinity and the Eucharist appears to have been so handed down for some hundred years; and when at length reduced to writing, it has filled many folios, yet has not been exhausted.

But I have said more than enough in illustration; I end as I began—a university is a place of concourse, whither students come from every quarter for every kind of knowledge. You cannot have the best of every kind everywhere; you must go to some great city or emporium for it. There you have all the choicest productions of nature and art all together, which you find each in its own separate place elsewhere. All the riches of the land, and of the earth, are carried up thither; there are the best markets, and there the best workmen. It is the center of trade, the supreme court of fashion, the umpire of rival talents, and the standard of things rare and precious. It is the place for seeing galleries of first-rate pictures and for hearing wonderful voices and performers of transcendent skill. It is the place for great preachers, great orators, great nobles, great statesmen. In the nature of things, greatness and unity go together; excellence implies a center. And such, for the third or fourth time, is a university; I hope I do not weary out the reader by repeating it. It is the place to which a thousand schools make contributions; in which the intellect may safely range and speculate, sure to find its equal in some antagonist activity, and its judge in the tribunal of truth. It is a place where inquiry is pushed forward, and discoveries verified and perfected, and rashness rendered innocuous, and error exposed, by the collision of mind with mind, and knowledge with knowledge. It is a place where the professor becomes eloquent, and is a missionary and a preacher, displaying his science in its most complete and most winning form, pouring it forth with the zeal of enthusiasm, and lighting up his own love of it in the breasts of his hearers. It is the place where the catechist makes good his ground as he goes, treading in the truth day by day into the ready memory, and wedging and tightening it into the expanding reason. It is a place which wins the admiration of the young by its celebrity, kindles the affections of the middle-aged by its beauty, and rivets the fidelity of the old by its associations. It is a seat of wisdom, a light of the world, a minister of the faith, an Alma Mater of the rising generation. It is this and a great deal more, and demands a somewhat better head and hand than mine to describe it well.

参考译文

【作品简介】

《什么是大学?》一文选自约翰·亨利·纽曼所著《大学的崛起和进步》第二章。后收入《历史图谱》第一卷。

【作者简介】

约翰·亨利·纽曼,英国神学家和作家,也被称为“红衣主教纽曼”。

41 什么是大学?

如果让我尽可能简明通俗地描述什么是大学,我会从他的古代名称“Studium Genera1e”即“普遍知识的学习之所”来寻求答案。这一描述意味着素昧平生的人从天涯海角汇聚一处——要来自各方,否则如何寻到各门学科中的师生?还要汇聚一堂,否则怎能有学院?因此,大学最简单和基本的形式就是学习各类知识的学校,汇聚了来自四方的师生。要实现这一描述中包含的理念需要具备多个条件;但大学的精华似乎就在于此,它是一处思想交流和传播的场所,在国家这样广泛的地域层面上来进行人际交流。

如此表述的理念并无牵强无理之处;如果这就是大学,那么大学只照顾到我们天性中的一种需要,大学只是提供这种需要的某种特定媒介中的一个样本,这个样本可以在众多其他样本中得到引证。互动教育,从广义上来说,是人类社会伟大而持续的事业,有些带有特定目的,有些则没有。一代人成就另一代人;现有的一代总在其个体成员身上施加影响或者做出应对。在目前这个过程中,无须多言,书籍是一种特殊工具。这是事实,尤其是在这个时代。

考虑到出版惊人的力量,及其今天如何通过持续发行的期刊杂志、传单手册、系列作品和通俗文学进一步发展的情况,我们必须承认,从来没有哪个时代能像现在这样保证更为公平地分配各种信息和知识传授的手段。

你会问,除了如此丰富、多样和持久地传播各种知识之外,我们还能做些什么来为所有人、每一个人提供智识教育呢?你也会问,当知识已经走向我们时,为什么我们还要去追求知识?神谕者西比尔把预言写在林中的树叶上,却白白废弃;现在对于这种随意的慷慨我们既谨慎又宽容,因为后世发明的这一工具所具有的惊人衍生性,可以让我们对损失忽略不计。我们“在岩石里发现训诫,在流水里发现书卷”[1];比起那些曾让先贤不朽的作品,现在每天都在出版体量更大、内容更丰富的著作,以一日数百英里的速度走向世界各地。大量的传单散落在我们的座位上,人行道上亦随处可见;城墙的每块砖头都在宣扬智慧——用招贴告诉我们哪里能够马上便宜地购买到它。

我接受这一切,也许还有更多;这当然是我们倡导的大众化教育,其效果之显著有目共睹。尽管如此,不要忘了,即使在这个时代,无论何时只要人们真心想要获取商业用语中所谓的“好货”,希望获得那些精密、雅致、炫目、巨大、精选的东西时,他们需要另寻市场;他们以某种方式应用相对的技法、古老的技法、口头教导、实时人际交流,借助于教师而非自学、大师的个人影响和门徒的谦逊模仿,继而还有朝圣和会众的中心,这些都是这种教育方式的题中应有之义。我认为,人们会发现这对社会方方面面都有利,这使人们在共同利益基础上相互联结,构成所谓的“界”。无论是政界、上层社会、宗教界,还是文学和科学界,情况大都如此。

如果人类的行为可以被看作是其信念的验证,那么我们有理由说,书籍的职责及其不可估量的益处就是对真实的记录,成为裁决中的权威,以及教师手中的教学工具。然而,如果我们希望精确而完善地掌握某个包含多样性和复杂性的学科,我们必须求教于活生生的人并倾听他们的声音。我不一定需要探究其原因,我也认识到,我说的任何话都将有所欠缺——或许我们可以说没有哪本书可以经受得了关于任何扩展学科的细致质询,也没有哪本书能够解决代代读者的所有困惑。或者,书籍在传达其主题的特殊精神和微妙特性时,无法企及心灵之间通过音容笑貌,通过彼时随意的表情和熟悉的谈话即时转换来达成共鸣时所具备的速度和确定性。对于本文主题的附带部分我已经谈论太多。无论原因如何,事实不容否认。你可以在家通过书本学到任何学科的一般原理;但是其细节,颜色,基调,氛围以及使之生活在我们之中的生命力,你必须从那些已经掌握其生命力的人那里学习。你必须效仿不满足于自己的语法而到巴黎或者德累斯顿去的法语或德语学生,还须学习渴望拜谒佛罗伦萨和罗马的大师们的年轻艺术家。除非发现某种思想上的达盖尔银板摄影术,可以像光学仪器复制可感知的物体那样,全面细致地再现思想的过程和真理的形式、外貌和特点,我们就必须到睿智的老师处学习智慧,我们就必须赶赴智慧之源去痛饮。智慧部分可以借由书籍从智慧源头传播到天涯海角,但完整的智慧只存在于一处。正是在这种思想的汇聚和集合中,书籍本身——人类天才的杰作——得以写就,或者至少是产生。

我一直坚持的原则显而易见,恰当的例子也比比皆是,所以再继续这个话题会令人厌倦。我仅用一两个例子来解释自己的相关用语,因为我的语言还不能充分展示我坚持的教育理念。

例如,文雅的举止和高贵的风度难以习得,一旦习得后便会极度个人化;这种举止和风度在社会中养成并为社会所高度赞赏。构成一个绅士的特质包括身姿步态、谈吐手势及语调、自在沉着、彬彬有礼、擅说服、知退让、守原则、思精微、乐表达、品位高雅、举止合宜、慷慨宽容、公正体贴、豪爽大度。这些素质有的来自于天性,有的可能为各阶层共有,还有一些是基督徒的戒律;但我们能指望靠书本学习就把所有这些素质集于一身么?这些素质在上流社会出现,是否也只能在上流社会中习得?这个例子的本质让我们如是说,没有对手就谈不到辩论,在确定立场之前也不要挑战所有人。同样,你无法学会交流,除非你有能与之交流的世界;你无法摆脱天生的羞怯、笨拙和僵硬,或其他令人困扰的缺陷,除非你能在某个礼仪学校里待一段时间。这种说法是有道理的。事实不就是如此么?大都市、法庭、议院,在特定时段是国民前往的中心,如同精致与品位的圣坛。然后他们回归家庭时,这些丰富的经历可以唤起和拔高国民的社会成就感。我们无法想出还有什么其他方式来保持“绅士风度”;这就是保持它的方式。

现在来说第二个例子。我对所谈主题同样并无亲身经验。我承认我从未在议会任职或在上流社会崭露头角;然而我不得不认为,治国理政的才能,就像高贵的教养,并不来自于书本,而是从某些教育中心学到的。或许可以说,议会可以让一个聪明人以令其惊讶的方式来熟稔政治与国家事务。作为一位观察力足够敏锐的立法委员,即使观念并没有发生大的改变,他看待事物的眼光也会与以往不同。语言顿时有了意义,观点包含现实,可谓今非昔比。他在公开演讲和私人谈话中获悉了大量永远不会公之于众的信息。措施与事件的走向、党团行动以及敌与友都被推到这个卓越之人面前,这些是最勤勉的读报都不会灌输给他的。成就他的是政治智慧与经验的源头,是每日与人群的各种交际互动,是对政事的熟稔,以及来自四面八方的人群所贡献的事实和意见。但毋庸赘言,这表明一个不争的事实,议会及其营造的氛围就是某种政治大学。

在科学界可以找到一个与我阐明的原则非常契合的例子:过去二十年中出现了推动科学发展的定期集会,例如英国科学进步协会。对很多人来说这种聚会乍看非常荒谬。和其他学科相比,科学更多地通过书籍、私教来传授和宣讲。实验和调查的进行则默默无声;科学发现源于孤独中的打拼。哲学家与社会名流何涉?庄严的赞颂和数学及物理的真理有何关联?更深入的了解会让我们发现,甚至科学思想也无法避免建议、指导、激励、同情以及大规模的人际交往,这些都是集会确保提供的。选择一年中的好时节,白日正长,天空湛蓝,大地微笑,欣欣向荣;轮流选择城市或城镇,要么历史悠久要么现代富庶,空间宽敞,主人好客。

新奇的地点和环境,新知故旧相逢的兴奋,高山仰止的天才和资历,人们亲切友好,和谐相处;情绪激昂,交流思想,好奇心无处不在;早晨聚谈,户外锻炼,精心布置的周到食宿,不失风度的狂欢,傍晚的聚会;精彩的演讲,大家巨擘之间的演讲、争论和观点碰撞,讲述科学过程中的希望、失望、冲突和成功,精彩的颂词;年度庆典中的这些以及类似的组成部分,被认为是为知识进步做出了实质性的贡献,别无其他途径。当然这些只是间歇举办,需要特殊理由,比如大学每年的演出、毕业典礼或纪念活动。但它们具有大学的性质;我坚信其有效性。出发点是促进一种生活方式,就好像知识在个体之间流转,思想被广泛交换,学科之间进行比较和调整,思维、智力和社交得到扩展,人们选择对某个特定研究领域自发产生强烈的热爱并真诚投入。

我得反复说明,这样的周期性会议只能部分代表一所大学的理念。随之而来的喧嚣和忙乱不符合严肃智识教育的秩序和重心。我们亟需不受日常习惯干扰的教育方式,倒也不必寻找太久,在我们讨论不休时,它会随着时机成熟自然出现。在每一个伟大的国家,大城市本身就是一所必要的大学,不以意志为转移。因为它是法院、上层社会、政治、法律的中心,所以自然也是文学中心;在这个时代,伦敦和巴黎多年来实际上都是运行着的大学,即使巴黎著名的大学已经不复存在,而伦敦的大学也基本只有执行董事会的功能。在这里,报纸、杂志、学刊、博物馆和学院随处可见,学术及科学社团的存在必然使其具备了大学的功能;那种思想的氛围,此前只存在于牛津或者博洛尼亚或者萨拉曼卡,现在随着时代的变迁,都来到了政府的中心。那里有来自全国各地的年轻人,有法律、医学以及艺术专业的学生,有文学工作者和相关业者。他们因机遇而停留,对自己的临时家园深感满意,因为他们在其中找到被兑现的承诺。就其自身的目标而言,他们没有白来一趟。他们没有学习某种具体的宗教,但得以充分了解自己特定的专业,而且,熟悉了所在地的习俗、行为规范和舆论,并为这种传统的传承做出自己的贡献。我们不能没有虚拟大学;一座都市就是一所虚拟大学:一个简单的问题是,需求和供给的教育是否具有原则基础、成型规范和最高的目标指向,因为如果让大师和学院随意地你方唱罢我登场,思想被可悲的浪费,真理亦岌岌可危。

宗教教育本身在某种程度上提供了说明主题的例子。它并不会将自己放置在世界中心,这从本质上来说也是不可能的。其目标指向大众,而非少数人。其论题是人们需要的真理,而不是深奥罕见的。它和大学的原则在以下方面保持一致:它的重要手段,或者说媒介工具是所有教育本应具备的,即老师的在场,或者以神学语言来说,口授的传统。这是活生生的声音、呼吸和丰富的表情在传授和问答宣讲。真理,一种微妙、无形、多面的精神存在,通过视觉、听觉、情感、想象和推理涌入到学者的头脑中,并通过提问和重复,不断的质疑、修正和解释、演进与归原而永久留存在头脑中,这些就是“问答宣讲”这个词所指的一切方式。在初始阶段,要耗费少则数月多则数年的时间,改变早期基督徒思想上的异教谬误,并树立基督教信仰。的确,能够获取圣经的人执掌了圣经的研究,但圣爱任纽斯在不能阅读圣经的情况下也毫不犹豫地为所有皈依的基督徒发声。在那时,不具备读写能力并不是缺乏学识的证明:沙漠中的隐士,从字面意义来说,就是文盲;然而伟大的圣安东尼虽然目不识丁,在博学的哲学家前来挑战时,也是位毫不逊色的辩手。还有迪代默斯,亚历山大时代伟大的神学家,是位盲人。古代“Discip1ina Arcani”即所谓“秘密教规”的训练,涉及相同的原则。更神圣的骑士教义并不出现在书本中,而是通过延续不断的传统来传承。对神圣的三位一体和圣餐的教学似乎就是这样流传数百年,最终在其诉诸文字后,相关文献已经汗牛充栋,离穷尽其奥义却还遥遥无期。

我想我已经解释详尽了;结束语和开头所言一样,大学是来自四面八方的师生为各种知识而汇聚一堂的地方。最好的东西不可能俯拾皆是;你必须到大城市或者商业中心区寻觅。在那里自然和人工的顶尖产品荟萃一处,而在原产地你只能发现孤零零的一种特产。全国和全世界的财富都被运往该处;最佳的市场,最好的工匠都在那里;那是贸易的中心,时尚的最高鉴定处,竞争人才的公断所,还是珍奇宝物的评判标准。它是观赏一流画作的场所,也是聆听美妙歌喉、欣赏超凡演出的殿堂。那里汇聚着伟大的传道者、演说家、贵族和政治家。世间万物,伟大与完整并行;卓越常常指向核心。这个核心,我再三指出,就是大学;希望读者莫要厌烦我的多次重复;成百上千的学校为成就大学做出贡献,使它成为知识分子可以自由探查研究、建构思想的所在,他们定会在此遭逢挑战和对手,并在真理的裁判所接受检验。在大学里,通过心灵的激荡和学术的碰撞,人们质疑、修正和完善,消解鲁莽之失,揭示谬误之陋。在这里,能言善辩的教授传道授业解惑,满怀对学科的深爱,用最全面可信的方式展示科学,点燃听众胸中的热情。在这里,教授在问答宣讲中以扎实的脚步前行,将真理灌注到学生的记忆宝库,并不断楔入和夯实在他们日益增长的理性中。这是一处以佳誉赢得青年的仰慕,以美好点燃中年的热爱,以通达锁定老年的忠诚的场所。这里是智慧源泉、世界灯塔、信仰之门,是新一代人的母校。大学还是除此之外的林林总总,需要比我更加善思决断之人才能备述其妙。

(张萍 译)

[1]典出莎士比亚《皆大欢喜》(As You Like It)第二幕第一景,此处所引为梁实秋译文。


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