Thomistic Institute Talk - Tolkien's Perilous Beauties: Philosophy and Aesthetic Danger
Friday, September 15, 2017 at 5:30pm
Building 3, 270
33 MASSACHUSETTS AVE, Cambridge, MA 02139
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and related works present the beauties of the Elven realms as equally inspiration and temptation for humans. Why this fusion and confusion between what inspires and what corrupts? Because Tolkien is following out a central problem of philosophy from Plato to the present, a problem he inherits especially from the culture of Romanticism and its fraught relationship with Roman Catholicism.
David O’Connor is a faculty member in the departments of Philosophy and of Classics at the University of Notre Dame. His teaching and writing focus on ancient philosophy, aesthetics, ethics and politics, and philosophy of religion. Dr. O’Connor is an acclaimed teacher and lecturer. His online lectures on love and sexuality have reached a wide international audience, and are the basis of his two recent books, Love is Barefoot Philosophy (in Chinese translation, 2014) and Plato’s Bedroom: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Love (2015). He has also published extensively on the relation between philosophy, art, and literature, in both the ancient and the modern world.