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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 8. May 31, 1939

Moral Rearmament — The Fifth University

Moral Rearmament

The Fifth University

Mr. B. L. Harry, a former editor of "Togatus," and now subeditor of the Oxford "Isis," typed out the article appearing below for "Salient" in a train running between Undertaker and Stockholm.

We have heard a great deal about "M.R.A."—the outlay of ten pence ensures us a perfect knowledge of its principles—and we are glad to publish this article on the practical application of these principles.

A New University

On 2nd April Sweden had four universities: next day there were five. A new "university" had sprung up overnight, and was working at full pressure at Undertaker, a little skiing village in the mountains of the north.

Among the two hundred members of the new "university" are students from twenty-five universities in the four Scandinavian countries, Holland. Switzerland, Bulgaria, England, Scotland, Canada and Australia. There are four lecturers and seven professors—H. Lindroth, Goteborg (Languages), E, Skard, Oslo (Classics), H. Gran, Oslo (Botany), J. Pedersen. Trondheim (Architecture), A. Bentzen, Copenhagen (Theology). H. Turn bull, St. Andrews (Mathematics), and E. Cunningham. Cambridge (Mathematics).

In the log houses where "lectures" are held, while outside the temperature is below zero, the Undertaker "University" is studying hard. There is only one subject—Education: But it is being studied from every possible aspect and in an entirely novel way The informal "lectures" are delivered in five languages for one thing. Then the walls of the "lecture theater" are decorated with the flags of the ten nations which are represented. In the afternoons professors and students together leave for the hills on skis. But that is not the most remarkable thing in the relations of these students with their professors. The really amazing thing is that absolute equality is combined with absolute frankness. At what other university could a student say to his professor: "If you professors will gel off your pedestals and out of your libraries we will gladly learn from you, both about work and about living."

A New Type of Man.

Mr. A. Tauson-Hassler, President of the Goteborg Nation." or students club, at Uppsala University, aptly expressed the purpose of the assembly at the opening session:

"In face of the world's need." he said, "our task is to build something creative, something absolutely new, a new civilization through a new type of map. The purpose of the Nordic Assembly is that professors, lecturers, teachers, parents and students shall together take responsibility for an educational system that shall meet the needs of the nation. The greatest task of our generation is to teach people to live together.

The phrase "a new type of man" is a familiar one in Sweden to-day as the result of the writing of Sven Stole, one or Sweden's greatest living authors, whose whole outlook was recently changed from cynicism and despair to constructive hope through the forces of Moral Re-Armament. The "Ny Manniskotyp" is: "The man whose instincts are to live and work in fellowship, the man who is open, free and fearless, and takes responsibility for the needs of his nation who loves his country and obeys God."

The new type of man is contrasted with those types which make up the negative forces of the world to-day— the "protest man." who is critical without being constructive — the "masked man." who is afraid to show his feelings—the "[unclear: arectator] man," who is unwilling to take responsibility. "In every age." said Professor Skard. "man has survived only if he could adapt himself to a changed, environment. We have reached a new stage in civilization, but mankind seems morally unfitted to survive. We must make a deliberated step in evolution and produce the kind of man who is adapted to the new conditions."

New Relationships.

The urgent need in the face of the threat of war in Europe and the conflict and fear which exist everywhere was seen to be new human relationships, based on co-operation instead of competition. Small teams therefore worked on the different relationships of the educational system—between professor and student, professor and colleague, teacher and pupil, teacher and parent—to see what was the application of the fundamental principles of moral rearmament, absolute honesty and openness, absolute love and caring.

The processors had many examples from their own experience of the way in which new confidence had grown up between them and their students when they had been willing to acknowledge their own needs and had been honest in all relationships. Students told how they had been learning to be open with their tutors, and how that had resulted in co-operation. Other groups analyzed the evidence of team-work between home and school, between members of university and school staffs when the elements of fear and selfishness had been removed. Many examples were given of the way in which this new spirit has begun to have an effect on national life, especially in reconciling the traditional enemies, the Finnish and Swedish elements in Finland,

New Research.

It was soon realized that the work which has been begun must be continued by intensive research and experiment in every country, but as Professor Cunningham slated:

"We believe that the results we have found through the application of Moral Re-Armament to Education are concrete enough to suggest a universal principle of which the results could be multiplied indefinitely"

Like everyone else Julian shuffled round clasping various [unclear: corsetiess] torsos in the crush, which limited the range of bodily movements.

"Could anything be more idiotic?" Pamela Porter, the niece of Canon Fuge, remarked as she rubbed her belly against his.

"Is it more idiotic that a Church Nation, a battle, a trial by jury, or a Royal Coronation?" Julian asked. "It is at least more innocuous and less portentous."

Robert Briffault "Europa in Limbo."

"Changes in the population of primitive societies are caused by war, famine, plague, and contact with Europeans."—Dr. E. Beaglehole.

"... No man is so void of [unclear: under] as to [unclear: prefer] before peace; for in the latter, children bury their fathers; in the former, fathers bury their children."—Herodotus.

Mr. E. C. Simpson will speak on "Modern Art" to the Phœnix Club. The talk will be illustrated with a fine set of slides. Thursday. June 8th.