2019 Woolman Lectures

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Featuring Thomas Hibbs

The 2019 John Woolman Lectures will feature Professor Thomas Hibbs, Dean of the Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture at Baylor University. Professor Hibbs will lecture will lecture on the topics of both friendship and suffering in contemporary culture. The lectures take place February 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Johnson Center 106. Free online registration is available. Details follow.

Professor Hibbs has written books on film (Shows About Nothing and Arts of Darkness) and a book co-authored with the contemporary painter, Makoto Fujimura (Soliloquies: Rouault/Fujimura). He has also written three books on Thomas Aquinas: Dialectic and Narrative in Aquinas: An Interpretation of the Summa Contra Gentiles; Virtue's Splendor: Wisdom, Prudence, and the Human Good; and Aquinas, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion: Metaphysics and Practice. His most recent book, Wagering on an Ironic God, is a reflection and interpretation of the French philosopher Blaise Pascal. Professor Hibbs has published more than 30 scholarly articles and is currently writing a book on nihilism, beauty, and God.

Lecture One

On Friendship

Friendship, Aristotle wrote many centuries ago, is both useful and noble. But why? What is the role of friendship in our lives? Defending Aristotle’s basic understanding of friendship, this lecture considers objections from two modern critics: Kant and Kierkegaard. The lecture concludes with reflections on the role of friendship in contemporary American culture, where civic friendship is neglected when it is not vilified as a form of ideological disloyalty.

Tuesday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m., Johnson Center, Room 106

Lecture Two

Sickness unto Death: Suffering, Evil, and Contemporary Culture 

In the opening of his Confessions, Augustine writes that human beings carry within themselves the “mark of their mortality.” Yet we expend tremendous effort avoiding the fact of our mortality. In contemporary culture, our aversion to thinking about death coincides both with a decline in public rituals for dealing with death and with an eroding vocabulary that enables us to speak not only about death but also evil and suffering. At the same time, we are immersed in the graphic images of violence and death. Drawing from films as well as from philosophical and literary texts, this lecture discerns a hunger for a richer treatment of these matters and points to stories that embody hopefulness in the face of loss.

Wednesday, February 27 at 7:30, Johnson Center, Room 106

Woolman Lecture Series

The Woolman Lecture Series is sponsored by The Center for Christian Faith & Culture in partnership with the Office of the Provost. Shawn Floyd, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, organizes and directs the annual Woolman Lectures.