Quotes by: Terry Eagleton
The political currents that topped the global agenda in the late 20th century - revolutionary nationalism, feminism and ethnic struggle - place culture at their heart.
Dawkins considers that all faith is blind faith, and that Christian and Muslim children are brought up to believe unquestioningly. Not even the dim-witted clerics who knocked me about at grammar school thought that.
Universities are no longer educational in any sense of the word that Rousseau would have recognised. Instead, they have become unabashed instruments of capital. Confronted with this squalid betrayal, one imagines he would have felt sick and oppressed.
Virtue is something you have to get good at, like playing the trombone or tolerating bores at parties. Being a virtuous human being takes practice; and those who are brilliant at being human (what Christians call the saints) are the virtuosi of the moral sphere - the Pavarottis and Maradonas of virtue.
It is easy to see why a diversity of cultures should confront power with a problem. If culture is about plurality, power is about unity. How can it sell itself simultaneously to a whole range of life forms without being fatally diluted?
In the end, the humanities can only be defended by stressing how indispensable they are; and this means insisting on their vital role in the whole business of academic learning, rather than protesting that, like some poor relation, they don't cost much to be housed.
Like the rest of us, Tom Paulin is a bundle of contradictions. At its finest, his work is brave, adventurous, original and wonderfully idiosyncratic.
If history, philosophy and so on vanish from academic life, what they leave in their wake may be a technical training facility or corporate research institute. But it will not be a university in the classical sense of the term, and it would be deceptive to call it one.
Deconstruction insists not that truth is illusory but that it is institutional.
Nations sometimes flourish by denying the crimes that brought them into being. Only when the original invasion, occupation, extermination or usurpation has been safely thrust into the political unconscious can sovereignty feel secure.
People do evil things because they are evil. Some people are evil in the way that some things are coloured indigo. They commit their evil deeds not to achieve some goal, but just because of the sort of people they are.
There is an insuperable problem about introducing immigrants to British values. There are no British values. Nor are there any Serbian or Peruvian values. No nation has a monopoly on fairness and decency, justice and humanity.
Rousseau ranks among the great educational theorists of the modern era, even if he was the last man to put in charge of a classroom. Young adults, he thought, should be allowed to develop their capabilities in their distinctive way.
The conversion of agnostic High Tories to the Anglican church is always rather suspect. It seems too pat and predictable, too clearly a matter of politics rather than faith.
In the end, it is because the media are driven by the power and wealth of private individuals that they turn private lives into public spectacles. If every private life is now potentially public property, it is because private property has undermined public responsibility.
I attacked Dawkins's book on God because I think he is theologically illiterate.
From the viewpoint of political power, culture is absolutely vital. So vital, indeed, that power cannot operate without it. It is culture, in the sense of the everyday habits and beliefs of a people, which beds power down, makes it appear natural and inevitable, turns it into spontaneous reflex and response.
Cynicism and naivety lie cheek by jowl in the American imagination; if the United States is one of the most venal nations on Earth, it is also one of the most earnestly idealistic.
Men and women do not easily submit to a power that does not weave itself into the texture of their daily existence - one reason why culture remains so politically vital. Civilisation cannot get on with culture, and it cannot get on without it.
Language, identity and forms of life are the terms in which political demands are shaped and voiced.