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Upcoming Philosophy and Religion Seminars

This list is of upcoming seminars only. Since most seminars meet more than once in a term, if a class has already met at least once, it will no longer show up on this list. To find a seminar that has already started or has finished, use the calendar and set the date range to include the seminar’s starting date.

Starting: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Wednesdays, September 17 - November 19
Moral Philosophy 101: Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics
Led by Thomas Zebrowski

Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics is one of the most influential textbooks of moral philosophy ever written. Celebrated in antiquity, canonized in the Middle Ages, and widely rejected in the Early Modern period, Aristotle’s ethical theory is undergoing a resurgence today. This seminar offers a close reading of the Ethics, moving through the great themes that engaged its author...


Starting: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Wednesdays, September 17 – November 5 (class will not meet October 15)
New space added!
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Maya Civilization: A Comparative Perspective
Led by Don McVicker

Of all the pre-Hispanic civilizations of the New World, the Maya inspire a particular fascination for scholars, artists, and the public. How did they achieve such splendor in the inhospitable rain forest and why did their civilization collapse from such heights? Although Maya history challenges those who seek to trace its undulating path, they were not the only early civilization to experience...


Starting: Saturday, September 20, 2014
Saturdays, September 20 – October 25 (class will not meet October 18)
Inanna: Sumeria's Erotic Goddess, and Solomon's Song
Led by Susanne Sklar

Inanna’s story may be the oldest on earth. In it, the goddess copes with a serpent-infested tree, tricks the god of wisdom, builds human civilization, delights in extravagant sexual joy, and descends to the underworld. We will compare this Sumerian mythology with later biblical writing, tracking Innana’s influence on depctions of Abraham (whose father came from Ur, one of Inanna’s cities) and...


Starting: Thursday, October 2, 2014
Thursdays, October 2 - November 6
Heidegger Wars: Philosophy, Ideology, and Nazism
Led by Eugene Newman

Martin Heidegger’s widely admired existential philosophy has, in recent years, undergone a radical re-evaluation after the significant scholarly revelations of his deep commitment to Nazism. This seminar will grapple with some of the most important implications of Heidegger and Heideggerianism. Responses and commentary by prominent Heidegger participants such as Hannah Arendt and Herbert...


Starting: Wednesday, October 15, 2014
October 15 – December 3 (class will not meet November 26)
Unfinished Manuscripts, Unresolved War: Kafka, Hašek, and Prague in WWI
Led by Dagmar Herrmann

Kafka, the inscrutable founding spirit of literary modernism, and Hašek, a satiric, cynic, and lapsed revolutionary, were born in the same city in the same year, spent most of their lives in Prague, wrote their world-famous books around the time of World War I, and died a year apart. What kind of an environment produced writers as dissimilar and alike as Hašek and Kafka? History, geography,...