Annual Humanities Forum
When: Wednesday, April 15, 2015; 12 Noon | LUNCH WILL BE SERVED
Where: Class of ’49 Auditorium (Houston Hall 230)
“What are you going to do with that?” This perennial question about the utility of a liberal arts education is one posed not only by anxious parents, but now also by students themselves, as well as state legislatures and even university administrations. One reliable answer is that the liberal arts cultivate a sharp, critical mind, which actually offers students a competitive advantage in a dynamic marketplace. But are there other answers that do not reduce an education to its economic value? In this Humanities Forum, Professor Peter Struck and Professor Anna Bonta Moreland will reconsider the relationship between the liberal arts and one’s life thereafter.
Peter Struck is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His first book, Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of their Texts (Princeton, 2004), explores how ancient readers found in Homer’s epic poems extraordinary insights — about the gods, the cosmos, and the place of human beings within it. It won the American Philological Association’s C.J. Goodwin Award for outstanding book in classical studies. He is the Director of Penn’s Benjamin Franklin Scholars Program, a Faculty Advisor of the Penn Humanities Forum, and the founder and co-director of the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education.
Anna Bonta Moreland is Associate Professor of Humanities at Villanova University. Her scholarship focuses on the relationship between faith and reason, the theology of religious pluralism, Christian scholasticism and Islamic theology. She has written Known by Nature: Thomas Aquinas on Natural Knowledge of God (Herder & Herder, 2010) and edited New Voices in Catholic Theology (Herder and Herder, 2012). To conclude her next book project on Prophecy in Christianity and Islam, she was awarded a fellowship for the next academic year at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture.