Events Calendar

16 Apr
St. Augustine on Nature and the Environment
Event Type

Lectures, Symposia, Etc.

Topic

Humanities

Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students

Website

https://www.humcenter.pitt.edu/

University Unit
Humanities Center
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Postponed: St. Augustine on Nature and the Environment

This event postponed until further notice.

The Humanities Center welcomes Christina Hoenig (Classics) for a colloquium. Her respondents will be Allen MacDuffie (UT-Austin, English) and Paula Kane (Religious Studies).

Christina has a Ph.D. in Classics, Cambridge University, UK and MPhil in Hebrew Studies, Cambridge University, UK. Her research focuses on the Roman and Greek philosophical writers from the 1st century BC to Late Antiquity.

Abstract:

The predominant Catholic perspective on our natural environment, prior to shifting attitudes over the past decades, had emphasized its role as the venue for the human journey towards redemption. While the beauty and plenitude of flora and fauna were seen as proof for divine creativity, non-human life on earth was often considered in terms of its usefulness to human well-being. Despite recent dissenting voices that stress nature’s intrinsic value without reference to human need, it is the immediate relevance of a flourishing environment to human social concerns that has spurred renewed environmental activism. In academic reflections on the historical development of Christian environmental values, St. Augustine of Hippo features as an early advocate of an anthropocentric and hierarchical view of nature. A problematic aspect of Augustine’s role in this context is the fact that his views on our relationship with nature must be extracted from scattered, heavily context-dependent, and at times contradictory statements. These are frequently folded into polemical exchanges with non-Christian contemporaries, with a heavy focus on hostile and dangerous elements in the natural world. This paper gathers and contextualizes Augustine’s most important views, and analyzes the arguments he uses to advance his positions with a view to Christian and non-Christian Graeco-Roman influences. Attempting to formulate a rough Augustinian outlook will facilitate comparison with current Catholic perspectives on human interactions with the natural world. 

For the pre-circulated reading, please click here for access to the Google Drive. 

 

Thursday, April 16 at 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Humanities Center, 602
Fifth Avenue at Bigelow, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Postponed: St. Augustine on Nature and the Environment

This event postponed until further notice.

The Humanities Center welcomes Christina Hoenig (Classics) for a colloquium. Her respondents will be Allen MacDuffie (UT-Austin, English) and Paula Kane (Religious Studies).

Christina has a Ph.D. in Classics, Cambridge University, UK and MPhil in Hebrew Studies, Cambridge University, UK. Her research focuses on the Roman and Greek philosophical writers from the 1st century BC to Late Antiquity.

Abstract:

The predominant Catholic perspective on our natural environment, prior to shifting attitudes over the past decades, had emphasized its role as the venue for the human journey towards redemption. While the beauty and plenitude of flora and fauna were seen as proof for divine creativity, non-human life on earth was often considered in terms of its usefulness to human well-being. Despite recent dissenting voices that stress nature’s intrinsic value without reference to human need, it is the immediate relevance of a flourishing environment to human social concerns that has spurred renewed environmental activism. In academic reflections on the historical development of Christian environmental values, St. Augustine of Hippo features as an early advocate of an anthropocentric and hierarchical view of nature. A problematic aspect of Augustine’s role in this context is the fact that his views on our relationship with nature must be extracted from scattered, heavily context-dependent, and at times contradictory statements. These are frequently folded into polemical exchanges with non-Christian contemporaries, with a heavy focus on hostile and dangerous elements in the natural world. This paper gathers and contextualizes Augustine’s most important views, and analyzes the arguments he uses to advance his positions with a view to Christian and non-Christian Graeco-Roman influences. Attempting to formulate a rough Augustinian outlook will facilitate comparison with current Catholic perspectives on human interactions with the natural world. 

For the pre-circulated reading, please click here for access to the Google Drive. 

 

Thursday, April 16 at 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Humanities Center, 602
Fifth Avenue at Bigelow, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Topic

Humanities

Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students

University Unit
Humanities Center