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First Friday Lectures

These lectures are offered at 12:15 pm on the first Friday of every month in the Claudia Cassidy Theatre at the Chicago Cultural Center, (Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street). See below for a list of the lecture descriptions and to register.

Click a course title to read the course description and register for the course.

Courses

First Friday Lecture Series First Friday: East Already Met West: The Questions of Menander or when a Greek King converses with a Buddhist monk 08/4/2017

BPFFLS | First Friday: East Already Met West: The Questions of Menander or when a Greek King converses with a Buddhist monk

Contemporary discourses often emphasize the divide, if not the confrontation, between an East and a West, as if the long-standing exchanges between Europe and Asia had never existed. Textual witnesses of this encounter are quite rare. One of these is The Questions of Milinda, which presents a dialogue between a Buddhist monk, Nāgasena, and a Greek king, Milinda or Menander, who actually lived in the second century BCE. The talk will briefly present this text and focus on one of its most famous arguments about the counterintuitive Buddhist idea of no-self, namely, the claim that we do not, in fact, have selves, despite our most natural instinct. What does this claim entail for the possibility of dialogue? This philosophical question touches on the romanticization of the notions of “East” and “West,” and on the political implications they have for us today.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Pierre-Julien Harter

Pierre-Julien Harter

Pierre-Julien Harter

Pierre-Julien Harter received his PhD from the University of Chicago in the philosophy of religions program in 2015. He specializes in Buddhist philosophy in India and Tibet, as well as in Indian philosophy.

Course Code: BPFFLS
Section: 17U1S
Location:
Dates: Aug 04
Tuition: $0.00
Days/Times: Fri
12:15 PM



Online Registration Close Date:

Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Register

First Friday Lecture Series First Friday: The Content of Our Character: Lessons from Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 09/1/2017

BPFFLS | First Friday: The Content of Our Character: Lessons from Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Besides being an object of general intellectual curiosity, the decline and fall of the ancient Roman Empire has long held a special fascination for those concerned with the health and well-being of a subsequent empire. After all, if the later empire could understand the mistakes of the former one, perhaps they—and the attendant imperial decline—could be avoided. Edward Gibbon, who wrote his monumental, six-volume History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as the British Empire was arising and the American Empire was aborning, certainly seems to have thought so. This lecture will survey Gibbon’s account of “the beginning of the end” for Rome as told in volume one of his work, with special attention to the lessons Gibbon believed he had gleaned from that pivotal period—most of which deal with a perceived decline and fall of the Roman national character.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Adam Rose

Adam Rose

Adam Rose

Mr. Rose has taught in the Basic Program since 1993, and is a former Staff Chair of the program. He is primarily interested in the ways texts affect human life. He is the recipient of the 2007 Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies Excellence in Teaching Award.

Course Code: BPFFLS
Section: 17U2
Location:
Dates: Sep 01
Tuition: $0.00
Days/Times: Fri
12:15 PM



Online Registration Close Date:

Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Register