"It is in Rousseau's writing above all that history begins to turn from upper-class honour to middle-class humanitarianism. Pity, sympathy and compassion lie at the centre of his moral vision. Values associated with the feminine begin to infiltrate social existence as a whole, rather than being confined to the domestic sphere."
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."Terry Eagleton on Confucius
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew."Terry Eagleton on Abraham Lincoln
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."Terry Eagleton on Mahatma Gandhi
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."Terry Eagleton on Franklin D. Roosevelt
"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."Terry Eagleton on Thomas Jefferson
"Most poetry in the modern age has retreated to the private sphere, turning its back on the political realm."
"In the end, the humanities can only be defended by stressing how indispensable they are and this means insisting on their vital role in the whole business of academic learning, rather than protesting that, like some poor relation, they don't cost much to be housed."
"The conversion of agnostic High Tories to the Anglican church is always rather suspect. It seems too pat and predictable, too clearly a matter of politics rather than faith."
"Dawkins considers that all faith is blind faith, and that Christian and Muslim children are brought up to believe unquestioningly. Not even the dim-witted clerics who knocked me about at grammar school thought that."
"The German philosopher Walter Benjamin had the curious notion that we could change the past. For most of us, the past is fixed while the future is open."