The Witherspoon Institute

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    Fall 2017 Seminar Series

    The Institute is pleased to announce its 2017 fall seminar series on Language, Freedom, and Making, sponsored by the Center on the University and Intellectual Life. These seminars form part of the Institute’s efforts to assist the next generation of scholars in reflecting on truly human questions.

    Dr. R.J. Snell will teach the two seminars of this series, Living in the Truth and Maritain and Art, on alternating Fridays, lunch provided.

    José Pérez-Benzo will also teach two seminars of the this series, Poetry: The Wonder Wounded Word and A Reason Open to God, on alternating Wednesdays, dinner provided.

    The Institute is also pleased to announce that the Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution in conjunction with the James Madison Program will co-sponsor a year-long noncredit reading group on The Federalist, meeting on Thursday afternoons beginning September 21, from 1:30pm to 3:00pm in the East Room of Bobst Hall. The Seminar will be led by Professor Matthew J. Franck and Professor John D. Wilsey.


    Fall 2017 Seminar Series: Living in the Truth

    Teacher: R.J. Snell

    Time: 12:45pm-2:45pm on Fridays, lunch provided

    Dates: 9/22; 10/6; 10/20; 11/10; 12/1

    Place: Whelan Hall, 16 Stockton Street

              For the fall semester in keeping with this year’s theme of Language and Freedom, our Living in the Truth seminar will examine the work of Eastern European dissidents, including some thinkers not often studied, on how the manipulation of language by ideology violates the integrity of the human individual, their action, and inquiry, and, further, how the refusal to capitulate to the ideological lie allows the recovery of freedom for even the most powerless of people. For Solzhenitsyn, Havel, Milosz, Patočka, and Wojtyla, being complicit in the ideological lie was to be a “captive mind,” whereas, in the words of Havel, even the most powerless could refuse to allow a deformed language to dominate their understanding.