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Community Calendar for St. John's College, Santa Fe, NM





    MARCH/APRIL 2013

    In this Issue:Deans Lecture Series,

    Seminars, Concerts, Events, Programs, Bookstore

    But, for my own part,it was Greek to me.


    When Music and Sweet Poetry AgreeParthenia, early music consortFriday, April 12, 7:30 p.m.Great Hall, Peterson Student Center

  • 2DEANS LECTURE AND CONCERT SERIESPlease join us for the continuation of the spring 2013 Deans Lecture and Concert Series. All lectures are free and open to the public. See below for timesand locations.

    LECTURESAristotle and the U.S. ConstitutionMurray Dry, professor of political science, Middlebury CollegeFriday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.Great Hall, Peterson Student Center

    In this lecture, Mr. Dry will raise the question whether Aristotles political science is reflected in our Constitution and, if so, where and how. He also willconsider whether the political science of other philosophers, such as Hobbes,Locke, Spinoza, and Montesquieu, is not also reflected in our Constitution and, if so, where and how. Mr. Dry will discuss the Constitution as both thework of the Founders and the more or less agreed-upon body of political practices and legal doctrines that have characterized American governmentfrom the founding to the present. The lecture will consider a range of philo-sophic contributions to our Constitution and whether the philosophic contributions have changed over time. And if they have, what should we make of that change?

    Murray Dry is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science at Middle-bury College, where he has been teaching since 1968. He teaches courses in political philosophy, American constitutional law, and American politicalthought. His scholarship includes a book, Civil Peace and the Quest for Truth: The First Amendment Freedoms in Political Philosophy andAmerican Constitutionalism, Lexington Press, 2004, and numerous articlesand book chapters on diverse topics in American constitutionalism and political philosophy (especially the separation of powers, the Anti-Federalists, federalism, and the First Amendment). He is currently completing a book onsame-sex marriage and the law.

    Is Culture a Second Nature? Thoughts on Politics, Religion, Culture,and the Middle EastJohn Agresto, past president, St. Johns College, Santa FeWednesday, April 17, 3:15 p.m.Junior Common Room, Peterson Student Center

    This lecture will consider a number of questions: What stands in the way of liberty and democracy becoming universal? What preconditions mightthere be historical, political, economic, cultural for the growth of liberaldemocracies worldwide? And what might we learn on this matter from ourforays into Iraq and Afghanistan and from the coming of the Arab Spring?

  • 3John Agresto, past president of St. Johns College, Santa Fe (1989 to 2000),served as a Coalition Provisional Authority Senior Advisory to the Ministry ofHigher Education and Scientific Research in Baghdad, an experience he drewon to write Mugged By Reality The Liberation of Iraq and the Failure ofGood Intentions (2007). He subsequently was interim provost and chancellorof The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani and then, from 2008 to 2009, a visiting fellow at Princeton Universitys James Madison Program.Agrestoholds a doctorate in political science from Cornell University and has published in the areas of politics, law, and education. He currently lives inSanta Fe and chairs the New Mexico State Advisory Committee to the U.S.Commission on Civil Rights.

    The Quest for the Islamic State Past and PresentHillel Fradkin, director, Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World, Hudson InstituteFriday, April 19, 7:30 p.m.Great Hall, Peterson Student CenterOver the past two years, the Arab Middle East has been subject to a series of revolts popularly known as the Arab Spring. Where successful, these revoltsoverthrew existing autocratic regimes and initiated democratic electoralprocesses. To date, the main beneficiaries of these elections have been what are known as Islamist movements and parties connected with both the Muslim Brotherhood and so-called Salafists. In addition, the Islamist move-ment has had an important impact in other non-Arab Muslim countries forexample, Iran and Turkey. Traditionally these movements aimed at a reform of Muslim politics, which had as its ultimate goal what they termed the Islamic State. This lecture will discuss the present meaning of the IslamicState, its origins, its prospects, and its relationship to the experience of Muslim history and thought.

    A senior fellow of the Hudson Institute and director of its Center on Islam,Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World, Fradkin is co-founder (withAmbassador Husain Haqqani) and co-editor of Current Trends in Islamist

  • 4Ideology, the leading journal on the subject of the Muslim movement known asIslamism. Also a member of the faculty of Barnard College/Columbia Univer-sity and the University of Chicago, Fradkin has previously taught at Yale andGeorgetown universities. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from CornellUniversity and received a doctorate in Islamic studies from the University ofChicago, where his studies were directed by the late Muslim philospher MuhsinMahdi and the late Muslim theologian Fazlur Rahman. Fradkin has publishedwidely on contemporary Muslim and Middle Eastern affairs as well as the history of Islamic thought. He also has written on the history of Jewish thoughtand the general issue of the relationship between religion and politics.

    Mastery of Nature in Descartes Discourse on MethodTopi HeikkerFriday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.Great Hall, Peterson Student CenterRen Descartes Discourse on Method (1637) prefaces three of its authors scientific studies (Dioptrics, Geometry, and Meteorology). These studies present and make use of novel analytic mathematical and scientific methodsthat Descartes had created. Yet the Discourse is strikingly self-described as a history, or if you prefer, a fable. Why do revolutionary mathematics and science need to be introduced by a narrative that admittedly verges on fiction? Furthermore, in the sixth part of the Discourse, Descartes articulates the promise that his new scientific ideas can enable a practical

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to e

  • 5philosophy in terms of making human beings the masters and possessors ofnature. In this lecture, Mr. Heikker aims to offer a reading of this promisein its context of the Discourse, Descartes scientific project, and his interac-tions with his peers and surroundings. How does Descartes weave fiction and exact quantitative inquiry together so that they result in a project of mastering nature, the power of which we have witnessed?

    Topi Heikker has been on the faculty of St. Johns College, Santa Fe, since2008. He earned a master of theology degree in theological ethics and philosophy of religion from the University of Helsinki in 2000, followed by amaster of arts degree in theoretical philosophy in 2005 and a doctorate in social ethics in 2009. Academic appointments at the University of Helsinki included researcher in the Center for Social Ethics and university lecturerethics in the Department of Systematic Theology. He also was a visitingscholar at the Colorado School of Mines.

    SYMPOSIUMBeyond Reductionism: Biology as a Liberal ArtSelected faculty, St. Johns College, Santa FeFriday, April 5, 3:15 p.m.Great Hall, Peterson Student CenterA panel of St. Johns faculty John Cornell, Linda Wiener, Llyd Wells, Russell Winslow, and Gregory Schneider will give short talks on problemsin the philosophy of biology.

    ntertain a thought without accepting it. ARISTOTLE


    Community Seminars are opportunities for community members to read anddiscuss seminal works in the same unique manner as our students. Seminarsare discussion-based and small in size in order to ensure spirited dialogue.There are topics to pique every interest, and for many participants the discussion-based learning model is an entirely new experience.

    Please call 505-984-6117 to register for any of the seminars described below.Teachers with proof of full-time employment may enroll at a 50 percent discount. Community Seminars are free to 11th and 12th grade high schoolstudents (limited spaces available).

    Fakhruddin Iraqi, Divine FlashesTutor: Michael WolfeDates/Times: Four Saturdays, March 23 April 13, 1:00-3:00 p.m.Cost: $ 140 Love where you may, you will have loved Him; turn your face whatever way, itturns toward Him even if you know it not.

    Sufis and scholars of Sufism have often wondered if Sufisms two greatest mas-ters, Rumi and Ibn al-Arabi, ever met. They probably didnt. Nonetheless,their lineages are united in the person of Fakhruddin Iraqi. Iraqi knew andstudied under Rumi; he was also a disciple of Ibn al-Arabis adopted son andsuccessor. Inspired to bring these two Sufi schools together, he wrote the Divine Flashes, a book that expresses Ibn al-Arabis startling metaphysical insights in ecstatic Persian poetry reminiscent of the poetry of Rumi.

  • 7George Eliots Scenes of Clerical LifeTutor: Arcelia RodriguezDates/Times: Three Wednesdays, April 10-April 24, 6:00-8:00 p.m.Cost: $105Published in 1858, a time of religious reform and upheaval during Queen Vic-torias reign, Scenes of Clerical Life was George Eliots first work of fiction.The three novellas of the book The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend AmosBarto