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In 1920 A. G. Sertillanges, a French Dominican, wrote this influential book on the intellectual life. He was convinced that even with limited time, those who wanted to pursue an intellectual life could do so. He identifies some of the obstacles to study and outlines some of the virtues and patterns of life we need to cultivate in order to become good learners. He helps us to understand the ends of study, research and the accumulation of knowledge through a Christian lens. His advice is an antidote to the ‘do more, work harder, maximise output’ approach that we might encounter and instead focuses on slow, steady patterns which, over time, produce deep knowledge and wisdom.

In February and March, we bought together postgraduates and early-career academics from around the world to consider the themes of this text. Some of them share their favourite sections of the book in this video.