2016-2017 Lecture Series: Hope and Despair

Fall 2016 marks the second year in a three-year exploration of the theological virtues and their opposites: faith and doubt, hope and despair, love and hate. These virtues have important resonances in classical philosophy and throughout the Western tradition of philosophical and religious reflection about what it means to live a good life. Is it natural for human beings to have hope? Is there even a duty to have hope? What is the relationship between hope and a happy life? Is despair a necessary component of hope? These questions, and others like them, lie at the heart of religious reflection in many different traditions. This series will explore the possibility of an answer.

“Religious Practices and the Formation of Subjects”

Kevin Schilbrack, Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy & Religion, Appalachian State University

With Responses by
Thomas A. Lewis, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Religious Studies, Brown University
and
Elizabeth Pritchard, Associate Professor of Religion, Bowdoin College

Wednesday, September 21, 2016  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

“Hope in the Anthropocene: Moral Psychology and Collective Action”

Andrew Chignell, Associate Professor in the Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University, and Co-Director of the Cornell-Notre-Dame multi-disciplinary project on “Hope and Optimism”

Friday, October 7, 2016  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

“The Highway of Despair: Critical Theory after Hegel”

Robyn Marasco, Associate Professor of Political Science, Hunter College

Wednesday, October 19, 2016  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

“Dante’s Divine Comedy: from Despair to Hope to Glory

Peter Hawkins, Professor of Religion and Literature, Yale Divinity School

Wednesday, November 2, 2016  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

“An Elegant Hope: Despair as a Virtue After Nietzsche”

Ryan Coyne, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Divinity School

Wednesday, November 16, 2016  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

“Dionysus: The Hope of Beauty”

Mark Jordan, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Christian Thought, Harvard Divinity School

Wednesday, November 30, 2016  5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

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