Have we seen the best of religion?

Matthew Arnold (1822–88), poet, headmaster of Rugby and essayist, gave this idea to the educational world. Perhaps his best-known book is Culture and Anarchy (1869), in which he argues for the role of reading ‘the best that has been thought and said’ as an antidote to the anarchy of materialism, industrialism and individualistic self-interest. Arnold mounts a case in support of building and teaching a canonical body of knowledge.

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