Idler interview with Rowan Williams

8 Jan 2020
Statue of Socrates

Former Archbishop Rowan Williams recently gave an interview to Idler magazine in which he reveals his secrets to living the good life.

Part of his answer refers to the idea of a Socratic education: "You have this bright, quizzical tilt of the head with Socrates. You’re not being bludgeoned. He’d nod and say, 'Well that’s interesting, keep going,' and take you off the edge of the cliff, so to speak."

Socrates offers you the sort of education that invites you to tilt your head and ask more. It’s easy to forget that Socrates wasn’t only a philosopher. He was primarily a teacher and as Rowan explains "a good teacher helps you to recognise the power of the teacher, not to rebel or to accept passively, but to see it."

And he adds here, there is 'a course called “Modern Liberal Arts” at the University of Winchester which is a really Socratic programme of immersion in serious texts with lots of dialogue, lots of interaction. Even at a modern university it’s possible to have a course like that!"

Read more of Rowan's interview with Idler.

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