Seasons of a Scholar

Seasons of a Scholar

Some Personal Reflections of an International Business Economist

John H. Dunning

In his perceptive and easily readable autobiography, John Dunning walks the reader through the four seasons of his professional and private life. With just the right touch of humour, he recounts his boyhood experience during the eventful days of the Second World War, his three-year spell in the Royal Navy, as well as his years as a student and research assistant at University College London. He then goes on to describe his times as teacher and researcher at Southampton, Reading and Rutgers Universities, and the origin and evolution of the Reading School of International Business scholarship.

Chapter 6: Towards Summer: A Personal Moment

John H. Dunning

Subjects: business and management, international business, economics and finance, history of economic thought, international business


Every so often in my life I have asked myself such questions as, ‘What is it all about, then?’ ‘What is the purpose of my life?’ ‘What is – who is – God?’ ‘Is religion the cause or the cure of the world’s social and other problems?’ In posing these and similar questions, I am sure I am not alone; although I do not think many people willingly acknowledge that they are spiritual animals! Most either avoid, or rarely think about, the fundamental issues of life. Yet, we are witness to these all the time. Events, and people’s response to these, constantly demonstrate and remind us of the complexity of our existence. On the one hand are natural disasters, abject poverty, disease and unspeakable violence. On the other, we see amazing demonstrations of courage, love and compassion. We are compelled to think beyond ourselves and our physical environment. Perhaps we can never know – or indeed are never meant to know – the full answers to these questions, and, as the Apostle Paul wrote long ago, are only allowed to see through ‘a glass darkly’.1 But I like to believe that if we seek long and earnestly, the veil of understanding will be lifted sufficiently for each of us to draw upon just that amount of help and guidance in how best to conduct our lives, and to do so in a meaningful and worthwhile fashion. Yes, I believe in God as a transcendent being; and I do so...

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