September 14, 2011

weekend-readsA New Literacy

This essay was originally presented by George Steiner as the Eighth Athenaeum Lecture on 15 September 2005. "A New Literacy" was first published in Great Britain by the Athenaeum, Pall Mall, London, and is reprinted here with the author's permission. The very notion of "literacy" is inseparable from the history of monasticism and of church schools after the decay of the Roman Empire in western Europe. To be "literate" signified the ability to read Scripture, to form letters on the page. This capacity defined the cleric and the clerk, these two designations being closely related. Some familiarity with Latin, though often in hybrid and transitional forms and, only very rarely, with classical Greek attached to ecclesiastical, legal, bureaucratic, and medical competence. The literary elite, the "men of letters" in the most pragmatic sense, assured the preservation of ancient civilization, a transmission qualified, corrected by Christian revelation. Literacy identified a "clerisy" and t

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Longitudinal Study

By JP Grasser

This essay was originally presented by George Steiner as the Eighth Athenaeum Lecture on 15 September 2005. "A New Literacy" was first published in Great Britain by the Athenaeum, Pall […]

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