Great Books | Monday, March 20
6:30 PM | Koslow Library
Dinner & Discussion
In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries the very foundations of human self-understanding in the Western tradition began to be shaken to their very core. In England, the beginnings of this development, this new “wave” or “paradigm” in terms of which to “vindicate the ways of God to Man” are most memorably expressed, albeit also criticized, by Alexander Pope (1688-1744) in his poem entitled Essay on Man.
Roman Catholic though he was, he suggests that what appears inscrutable about the Universe must be explicated rationally, according to the laws of Nature, which, indeed, are not only the basis of Man’s duty to strive to be virtuous but also the only basis of his ability here and now to attain virtue. “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan / The proper study [only Science] of Mankind is Man.”
But is this traditional Christian faith or, rather, is it the first step onto what has been called the “banana peel” of the slippery slope of Deism and, ultimately, Atheism?
Join us in our Great Books study of Pope’s Essay on Man on Monday, March 20th, at 6:30 p.m. in Koslow Library, for dinner and unfettered discussion! Reserve your place and your copy of Pope’s poem (suggested donation: $6.00) by e-mailing Alann Sampson.