SPRING 2020 ACADEMIC SEMINARS
THE PROBLEM OF PAIN
R. J. Snell, Director of Academic Programs at Witherspoon
Ryan Reed, Teaching Fellow at Christian Union Nova
Lunch provided: Fridays from 1:00-2:30 pm
A follow-up to the fall seminar on loneliness, this five-week seminar works through C.S. Lewis’s The Problem of Pain. Topics include the classic problem of evil, namely, if God is all good and all powerful there should not be evil and suffering, so either God does not exist, or God is not good, or God is not all powerful. Other topics include human freedom and evil, the meaning and redemption of suffering (human and animal), and the question of eternal suffering, or hell.
All Princeton students are welcome to attend.
A SEMINAR FOR WOMEN: THE MORAL VISION OF JANE AUSTEN
Led by Maura Shea
Dinner Provided: Wednesdays from 6:00-7:30pm
Virginia Woolf, a famous author of the Modernist movement in the early 20th century, deeply admired Jane Austen but once quipped “that of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness.”
This spring we will attempt to do just that. We are launching a seminar for women, open to undergraduates, graduate students, and young professionals in the community on the work of Jane Austen. We will start with an in-depth look at Pride and Prejudice, her most popular novel, as a way of examining male-female relationships, female friendships, courage & other virtues, and the complex task of “reading ourselves” and “reading others” with justice, charity, and truth.
Led by R. J. Snell
Lunch provided: Fridays from 1:00-2:30pm
See dates and topics below.
In these four weeks, we examine (and dispute) an assortment of problems and themes worth thinking through.
Feb 14th—Valentine’s Day Seminar—“Romantic Chaos,” with Prof. Anna Moreland (Villanova).
Feb 28th—Blueprint or Freedom? Discerning Your Vocation.
April 3rd—Friendship and Incommensurability: Can Friendship Survive Major Differences?
April 24th—OK, Boomer: Tradition and Reasonableness
NOSTALGIA AND THE QUEST FOR HOME
Led by Maura Shea
Wednesdays, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Nostalgia seems to be an increasingly pervasive (and, to some, lucrative) part of contemporary life. Television shows set in mythic eras (like the ’50s and the ’80s) and recent movies that reboot old franchises in the hopes that our childhood memories will fuel our enthusiasm are obvious examples of it; but perhaps these are just outer signs of a deeper longing that many of us experience today.
We’ll look at this phenomenon with the help of a variety of thinkers: Thomas Dodman, C. S. Lewis, Homer, and others in order to better understand the attractive pull of the past. Moreover, we’ll explore various dimensions of nostalgia–how it can be a longing just as much for a place or even an experience as it is for a particular time. How do we experience nostalgia in our own lives, and what do we do with it?
Open to any Princeton students.