John Senior and St Benedict on the vocation of teaching

Dr John Senior’s whole philosophy of education was informed by the Benedictine Spirit. In an essay entitled “The Spirit of the Rule”, he comments on the relationship between the Rule of St. Benedict and the vocation of the teacher.
“According to the Benedictine view,” John Senior states, “against the prevalent establishment, and exactly consonant with that of Socrates, St. Thomas, and Cardinal Newman, the purpose of a university is not – I say it sweetly, with reverent reserve – the purpose of the university is not research but friendship… The student must not only receive the knowledge, counsel and correction of the teacher, he must fulfil them, which means that he must understand, not just parrot or comply; and by learning, become assimilated to the spiritual, intellectual and moral model of the teacher”.
“Humility”, Senior observes, “is a necessary condition of learning” in the context of “the relation of disciple to master of which docility is an analogue of the love of man and God, from whom all paternity in Heaven and on earth derives.”