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The René Girard Lectures – “The Last Superstition” with Roberto Calasso
Free and open to the public
November 6, 2014 3:00 am - 4:30 am
Location: Cubberley Auditorium - Map Link
Until recently, humans lived with gods. Every society in history
defined itself in relation to an invisible world. Only modern society is secular: it doesn’t believe in anything but itself. Why? And are we really less superstitious than our ancestors? Roberto Calasso will begin his provocative lecture with these questions.
Called “a literary institution” by The Paris Review, Calasso is the
author of a series of unique works that dazzlingly combine
philosophy and culture, ancient and modern, east and west.
Joseph Brodsky praised Calasso’s retelling of the Greek myths as “the kind of book that comes out only once or twice in one’s
lifetime” (The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony). According to
Wendy Doniger, Calasso also wrote “the very best book about
Hindu mythology that anyone has ever written” (Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India). His newest work is a meditation on the Vedas entitled Ardor and will be published in English translation by Farrar, Straus and Giroux later this November. An advance review from Publishers Weekly predicts “readers will return again and again for wisdom and insight.”
The René Girard Lectures honor the literary critic, anthropologist, religious thinker and Stanford Professor Emeritus René Girard by bringing bold minds to speak in Paris and Stanford, Girard’s two intellectual homes.