Join us for this exciting new series! Over two years the group will explore six paired themes—perennial human themes which have shaped our world—as they have been taken up from Athens to Aspen, that is, from the ancient period to our contemporary age. Each of the following six paired themes will receive three sessions of discussion with texts drawn from different genres and different periods of human experience: ancient, medieval/renaissance, modern, and post-modern:
Friendship and Love (October – December 2012)
- Authors: Aristotle and Cicero; Aquinas and Montaigne; Emerson and Weil
Law and Justice (January – March 2013)
- Authors: Plato and Aristotle; Calvin and Shakespeare; Rawls, Arendt, and Hopkins
The Beautiful and the Good (April – June 2013)
- Authors: Plato and Augustine; Ficino and Schiller; Hawthorne and Rothko
Tragedy and Death (September – November 2013)
- Authors: Seneca and Montaigne; Nietzsche and Shakespeare; Strauss
Truth and Knowledge (December 2013 – February 2014)
- Authors: Plato and Lucretius; Bacon and Descartes; Derrida and Stoppard
History and Transcendence (March – May 2014)
- Authors: Plotinus and Augustine; Kant and Hegel; Eliot and Ortega y Gasset
In some cases we will be considering entire texts (including painting and opera); in other cases we will be looking closely at judiciously-selected excerpts. In all cases, we will strive: a) to understand the text on its own terms; b) to put the texts in conversation with one another; and, c) to reflect on the meaning of each text for how we might understand our own world and live responsibly in it. The authors and themes are daunting, but together we have an opportunity to revisit prominent authors in the Western intellectual tradition while also spending some time with less familiar authors and texts.
From Athens to Aspen was designed in response to a wide number of suggestions from many past participants and in collaboration with an informal committee from the community. Dr. Todd Breyfogle, Director of Seminars at the Aspen Institute, will be co-moderating the series with a rotating cadre of trained moderators from within the group.
2012-2013 Registration Fee: $225, includes readings and refreshments.