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12/21/2017 - 55 Plus Lecture Series - The Threefold Root of (all?) Evil

Date:  December 21, 2017;  meeting # 563
Topic:  The Threefold Root of (all?) Evil
Speaker:  Christian Wildberg, Professor of Classics at Princeton University

What is evil, and where does it come from?  In this talk the speaker shall first introduce the audience to an ancient, all but forgotten thinker in our Western tradition, Parmenides, and briefly interpret what he takes to be the profound and perplexing message of his obscure writing.  He shall then develop his view by applying it to the realm of ethics, and finally ask whether or not, and to what extent, it helps us find an answer to what is one of the most pressing questions of our time.

Christian Wildberg will be joining the University of Pittsburgh as Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Classics in the Spring of 2018.  He is retiring from his current position of Professor of Classics at Princeton University.  His research focuses on the history of ancient philosophy, especially the history of Platonism in Late Antiquity.  He has also strong interests in Greek literature, especially tragedy and Greek religion.  Educated at the University of Marburg and at Cambridge University where he received his PhD in classics in 1984, he held a junior Research Fellowship at Caius College, Cambridge.  He taught for one year at the University of Texas at Austin and for six years at the Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin.  Wildberg joined the faculty at Princeton University in 1996 and from 2006 to 2010 served as the Master of Forbes College. His many publications are a reconstruction and interpretation of a sixth century anti-Aristotelian treatise written by Christian philosopher John Philoponus and a study of the function of the gods in Euripidean tragedy.  Most recently, he has edited volumes on such diverse topics as mysticism, Aristotle's cosmology and the cult of Dionysus.  His current research focus on the history of Neoplatonism, on the development of the concept of evil in antiquity, and on the Corpus Hermeticum of which he prepared a new text and translation.

 

Event location: Social Hall
Event start: 12/21/2017 10:00:00 AM