Throughout his long and prolific career, Edward Shils brought an extraordinary knowledge of academic institutions to discussions about higher education. The Calling of Education features Shils's most illuminating and incisive writing on this topic from the last twenty-five years of his life. The first essay, "The Academic Ethic," articulates the unique ethical demands of the academic profession and directs special attention to the integration of teaching and research. Other pieces, including Shils's renowned Jefferson lectures, focus on perennial issues in higher learning: the meaning of academic freedom, the connection between universities and the state, and the criteria for appointing individuals to academic positions.
Edward Shils understood the university as a great symphonic conductor comprehends the value of each instrument and section, both separately and in cooperation. The Calling of Education offers Shils's insightful perspective on problems that are no less pressing than when he first confronted them.
Edward Shils (1910-1995) was distinguished service professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the department of sociology at the University of Chicago. Among his many books published by the University of Chicago Press are Portraits: A Gallery of Intellectuals and the three-volume Selected Papers of Edward Shils.