Something Borrowed, Something Blue


E.A. Judge AM, FAHA, Emeritus Professor of History, Macquarie University.

What is the good of history? The world is now undoubtedly changing, with a vengeance. There are no longer any old lessons to be learnt.

But the Stoics of Classical Athens were convinced of an utterly changeless universe. So every last detail in this book must be lived again next time round, and so on, for
ever. Never fear. You might escape into the rival doctrine of the Epicureans: Everything is only random anyway, and so nothing matters. Just take it as it comes.

Fifty years ago Einstein’s relativities were transforming everything, though he had clung to the conviction there must yet somehow be a cosmological constant. The Steady State theory could still put a question mark over the Big Bang. But today it is clear that the world is fundamentally developmental. It began, and will end. Change is the key dimension to our life.

This is the intellectual triumph of Jerusalem over Athens: of biblical wisdom over rationalising logic. Genesis has created Science. For two and a half millennia the philosophical truth of logic had discounted the historical force of experimental testing. Not until the seventeenth century was the balance tipped. Everything we now know, including our own memories, comes from finding out what actually happened. History is the mother of Science.

The founders of New College sought one great thing in essence: to reinstate in the university free access to the intellectual heritage of Jerusalem along with Athens.

In the year 1952 I was Warden of Weir House, the student residence of Victoria University of Wellington, NZ. Their annual report states that at the valedictory dinner I urged the Introduction of Theology into the academic curriculum. In 1961 I was appointed the Warden of University Hall (Broadway, NSW).

There I became a collaborator with Lawrence and Alison Lyons, and the others, in the New University Colleges Council. Not long ago I mused with the Lyons duo on its extraordinary ethos. I believe they would have shared the vision stated above. They in particular were the effective founders of New College. They would have warmly celebrated the Jubilee of its achievements.  

About the Author

Adela R. Davis, Anniversary Historian

Adela Davis graduated from the University of New South Wales in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction), majoring in history and psychology. During her studies, she enjoyed exploring the history of many different times and places but discovered a particular affinity for modern history. She found UNSW academic Dr Hamish Graham especially influential in growing her understanding of and appreciation for historiography, source analysis and interpretation.

Adela lived at New College for the majority of her studies, arriving in 2014 and leaving at the end of 2016. While a resident, she was a member of the New College Christian Fellowship Committee (2015) and an Academic Tutor (2016). She was also involved in many of the musical activities at College.

Adela attends St Matthias Anglican Church in Paddington. She has great love for her family and friends, singing loudly, and warm sunny days.


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