ABSTRACT

The words ‘academic freedom’ have often caused confusion because they come from a medieval inteUectual tradition which pre-dates most of the current meanings of the word ‘freedom’. It is the contention of this book that much of that inteUectual tradition is stiU valid, and as desperately needed for defence againstJohn Major as it ever was against John Lackland. Because Universities were originaUy seen as quasiecclesiastical institutions, the claims of Universities to academic freedom have always been rooted in an inteUectual tradition created to defend the autonomy of the medieval Church. In the translation from that tradition into modern idiom, vital shades of meaning are sometimes lost.