Geneva College

 

 

2010 Bitar Lecture Schedule

Thursday, March 25   
  5 p.m. 

Lecture 1: Hating Being: The Emergence of Cultural Sloth, Boredom, and Nihilism.
John White Chapel, second floor of Old Main

  6  p.m.

Dinner Buffet (by invitation),
Benedum Room, Alexander Hall

  7 p.m. 

Announcement and Presentation of the Byron I. Bitar Memorial Annual Cash Prize for Best Student Philosophy Paper.

  7:30 p.m. 

Lecture 2: Bleaching the Good: Limitless Freedom and the Destruction of Value.
John White Chapel, second floor of Old Main

  8:20 p.m.  Q & A 
  Throughout

Snell’s book, Through a Glass Darkly: Bernard Lonergan and Richard Rorty on Knowing Without a God's-Eye View, will be available for purchase and autographing.

Friday, March 26
12 p.m. Faculty Lunch
PDR, Alexander Hall
1:25 p.m. Master Aquinas Class
Benedum Room, Alexander Hall

ABSTRACTS

Series Title: Culture of Boredom, Culture of Death
As we’ve “unhooked” ourselves and the cosmos from the sustaining governance of God, the things, the beings, of the cosmos lose their dignity, become mere givens rather than gifts from God, and we lose a sense of the limits of our desires and freedom. Eventually, the things of the cosmos, including persons, are rendered meaningless—just factical objects to use as we see fit.

Lecture 1: Hating Being: The Emergence of Cultural Sloth, Boredom, and Nihilism
The early monastics understand sloth (acedia) as a hatred of the work and tasks that God gives to us. Consequently the slothful are not necessarily lazy, and in fact might be stirred to a frenzy of activity, but the activity reveals a hatred of place, limits, and even life itself. Thomas Aquinas develops sloth further, explaining how the slothful abhor even their own good and the grace required to attain their happiness, instead sinking further into self-withdrawal and the immobility and inability to act well. Given our own rejection of the limits of desire and freedom, we find the world and all its inhabitants to be nothing, incapable of providing sense to our actions or to ourselves. We are bored and nihilistic in our sloth.

Lecture 2: Bleaching the Good: Limitless Freedom and the Destruction of Value
A bored and nihilistic culture loses the ability to work with a properly ordered freedom towards the common good, instead seeking to render everything, including persons, as objects of use and consumption. Our bored culture is thus a culture of death—we are death lovers.


 

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Geneva awards bachelor's degrees in nearly 40 undergraduate major areas of study and offers seven master’s degree programs.

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