Monday, September 07, 2020


Fruits of Scholarship

Dorothy L. Sayers, "What is Right with Oxford?" Oxford 2:1 (1935) 36-7, quoted in Amy Orr-Ewing, The Apologetic Value of Theological Truth Through Story and Pattern in the Works of Dorothy L. Sayers (D.Phil. thesis, Oxford, 2017), p. 122:
'What is the use', the Howl may ask indignantly, 'when civilization is rocking upon its foundations, of giving us the doctrine of the enclitic De?' Not very much in itself, maybe; but it is surely of great use to acquire the scholarly judgement that can settle any doctrine upon the evidence without haste, without passion, and without self-interest. The integrity of mind that money cannot buy; the humility in face of the facts that self-esteem cannot corrupt: these are the fruits of scholarship, without which all statement is propaganda and all argument special pleading.
Sayers seems to be referring to these lines from Robert Browning's poem A Grammarian's Funeral:
He settled Hoti's business—let it be!—
        Properly based Oun
Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic De,
        Dead from the waist down.
It would be nice if someone would put Sayers' entire article (pp. 34-41) on the World Wide Web.

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