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Difficult Discourse: Searching for a Critical Generosity

Berkeley Institute Graduate Conference 2016

February 26th and 27th, 2016
315 and 330 Wheeler Hall
UC Berkeley 

Time and Eternity in Milan Kundera

Our summer fiction reading group continues with Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. We will meet weekly to talk about Kundera’s understanding of erotic love, its relationship to human finitude, and his frequent reflections on theological themes. A free...

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Jane Austen and the Moral Life

Jane Austen wrote romantic comedies about smart young women looking for good husbands.  But her novels are also charged with moral significance, and offer guidance, both serious and hilarious, in the virtuous conduct of life.  Her heroines learn about the importance...

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Theology After Christendom

Theology After Christendom In 1850, nearing the end of his writing career, Soren Kierkegaard published the book that he regarded as his most personal and his most important. Training in Christianity was his summation of “what it meant to be a Christian.” It culminated...

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Saved By Poetry

Saved By Poetry: The Message of T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot’s poetry possesses exquisite music , formal experiment, and indelible images: “Let us go then, you and I, / When the evening is spread out against the sky / Like a patient etherized upon a table.” He is arguably...

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Can We Be Moral Without God

Although their view of reality does not seem to invite it, atheists often claim that they can be just as good and moral people as religious believers. Theists, on the other hand, will frequently claim the opposite. For them, it is not so much that we need the threat...

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Women and the Intellectual Life

Is the twenty-first-century woman different from her male counterparts in any unique or substantial way? The feminist movement began with a radical claim: women are suited for every profession. Against this claim, opponents argued that women were capable of only one...

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Issues in Medical Ethics

New medical developments conjoined with legal and cultural changes raise moral questions. Genetic engineering, cloning, physician-assisted suicide, body identity integrity disorder, and patient autonomy are a few of the controverted issues of our day. In this seminar,...

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Has Liberalism Failed?

Has Liberalism Failed? Of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century—fascism, communism, and liberalism—only the last remains. This has created a peculiar situation in which liberalism’s proponents, on both the left and right, sometimes forget that...

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