Matthew Rose

Matthew Rose

Director and Senior Fellow, Berkeley Institute

The Problem of Identity

We often talk about identity to get at questions about being ourselves–who am I, what am I, and what makes me this person I am? But when we start to press these questions, we can find it hard to capture the most basic experiences of selfhood–the values, intuitions, hopes, and predicaments that shape our identities. This seminar will take up the problem of identity from a variety of religious perspectives. Its goal is to see how religious thought might offer conceptual resources that deepen and enlarge our ability to think clearly our own identities. This seminar will be co-taught by Prof. Steven Justice.

Dates: 1.26, 2.2, 2.9. 2.16, 2.23, 3.2, 3.9. 3.16, 3.23.

Time: Thursdays, 6:00-7:30pm.

Reading Schedule:

1.26: James K.A. Smith, How Not To Be Secular (excerpt)

2.2: Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, The Lonely Man of Faith (excerpt)

2.9: Simone Weil, “A Spiritual Autobiography”

2.16: Pascal, Pensees (selections)

2.23: Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian (excerpts)

3.2: John of the Cross, The Dark Night (selections)

3.9: Dante, Divine Comedy 

3.16: Augustine, Confessions, Book One.

To receive copies of the readings, please contact