IPR Blog

We will be adding entries for lectures as they are given.

“The Seduction of Daoist Philosophy: What Was Lost on the Way to Understanding the Daoist Religion?” James Robson (Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University), Wednesday, December 3, 2014

By Lynn Niizawa
December 5th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Abstract:  Daoism is one of the better known—but least understood—religions of the world. Ideas about Daoism spread primarily through translations and interpretations of texts considered to be its sacred books: The Scripture of the Way... More

“Poetics of the Sacred,” Richard Kearney (Charles Seelig Professor in Philosophy, Boston College), November 12, 2014

By Lynn Niizawa
November 11th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Richard Kearney’s lecture looks at how certain artists and poets have been able to retrieve and explore ‘epiphanies’ of the sacred even after the disappearance of God. Beyond the traditional opposition between dogmatic theism and... More

“A Philosophical Framework for Interpreting the Future of Religion and Spirituality,” Wesley J. Wildman, Professor of Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics, Boston University School of Theology, October 29, 2014

By Lynn Niizawa
October 28th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Abstract:  Intellectuals of any kind, including philosophers, can’t exercise much influence over religion. Religion, after all, is as formidably complex as it is intricately particular, and religious people tend not to care even a little about what philosophers... More

“William James Revisited: Pragmatic Approaches to Religion” David Lamberth, Professor of Philosophy and Theology, Harvard Divinity School, October 15, 2014

By Lynn Niizawa
October 14th, 2014 in Uncategorized.

Click here to see a video of the lecture. Abstract: William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience has long been considered a classic among theoretical texts for the study of religion.  Published in 1902 by... More

Blogging through the Semester…

By casp8
December 10th, 2013 in Uncategorized.

Students in the Institute seminar have been blogging all semester about IPR series lectures that interested and provoked them... Check out their thoughts in the posts below...

Reflections on the Semester: Hamlet on Thought and Action

By casp8
December 10th, 2013 in Uncategorized.

Joshua Niforatos wrote after Prof. Simon Critchley's IPR lecture on Hamlet (11/6):  "For Critchley, Hamlet represents the inability 'to pull together thought and action: where we think, we cannot act; where we act, we cannot... More

Reflections on the Semester: ‘When Hurt Comes Crashing In: How to Live in Pain’

By casp8
December 10th, 2013 in Uncategorized.

 Nina Polachek wrote after Prof. Arthur Kleinman's (11/6) lecture:  "Kleinman’s urgency in calling us to caregiving emphasizes the concrete, the active, side of ethics.  It seems that his late journey with his wife, through tragic... More

Reflections on the Semester: Dostoevsky and the Problem of Evil

By casp8
December 10th, 2013 in Uncategorized.

Sahar Habib responded to Prof. Dean Zimmerman's lecture on theodicy:  Zimmerman began his wonderful lecture by first introducing the argument: there is a logical contradiction in allowing for an all-powerful and all-knowing God who is... More

Reflections on the Semester: Sontag, Photography and Compassion

By casp8
December 10th, 2013 in Uncategorized.

Ron Bernier wrote after Prof. Ann Jurecic's lecture on Susan Sontag:   Prof. Jurecic's lecture on Sontag and the ethics of reception - how audiences regard and respond to representations of other people's pain - clarified... More

Physician-Assisted Suicide: Confronting End-of-Life Issues

By casp8
October 16th, 2013 in Uncategorized.

Last year, citizens of Massachusetts defeated a referendum on physician-assisted suicide.  In an editorial which advocated a “no” vote on the referendum, the Boston Globe lamented the lack of sufficient high-level debate and public information... More