Sun, Jun 14 at noon | 3-hour sessions with a 20 minute break
| 3 sessions on consecutive Sundays
Courses: Participants will be able to engage on their own time with the pre-recorded lectures and curated materials (readings, podcast links, interviews, and film). These will be used as the fuel for the live Zoom discussions with the professor.
This seminar will take part over 3 consecutive Sunday afternoons.
In a world of extreme academic specialization, imagination and interdisciplinary conversation are the remedies.
In this Olio seminar, we will embark on a conversation between an ancient Greek thinker, Plato, and an ancient Indian text, the Bhagavadgītā. The connection here, with this kind of a dialogue, is the shared experience at the heart of being human, which is the essence of why we study the humanities.
Plato’s Republic and the Bhagavadgītā are pillars of their respective traditions. “The European philosophical tradition is … a series of footnotes to Plato” (Whitehead). The Bhagavadgītā too, is a canonical text of Hinduism and informed Gandhi's non-violent protest movement, who in turn inspired Martin Luther King. It belongs to cultural tradition but also has the status of revelation. The Gita will have us question what the boundaries between philosophy and spirituality.
The central question in Plato's Republic is "Justice." He asserts that a philosophical education is the crucial factor in creating a just society. Likewise, the central question of the Gita is "dharma" or justice. In these trying times, we are organizing this study so we may understand protest, violence, the just fight and individual responsibility.
The purpose of this seminar is to investigate these texts with specific questions in view. What do the texts say about: The nature of justice, the immortal soul, individual responsibility and action, contribution to society (even a chaotic one) and ultimate concerns of meaning?
When studying philosophy, we hope for an account of being mortal in a mortal universe without succumbing to nihilism in terms of what we think, relativism in terms of what we do, and the meaninglessness of material explanations of who we are.
The Republic and The Bhagavad Gita, two accounts coming from different corners of the earth, undertake this task with such mastery that you'll hold them dear and keep these books on all of your future bookcases.
Session 1 Sunday, June 14th 12 -3:00 PM
In this session, we will explore the contexts, concepts, and terms of these texts. You will be assigned reading materials for the next class. For this session, we will use PowerPoints and handouts and you'll have all the intellectual keys you need to begin reading.
Introduction to the Republic
Introduction to the Bhagavadgītā
Session 2 Sunday, June 21st 12 -3:00 PM
In this session we will read key passages together and analyze them; however, these readings will be guided by the instructor. You will have read some texts and we will address your questions and discuss them.
Reading the Republic
Reading the Bhagavadgītā
Session 3 Sunday, 28th 12 – 3:00 PM
By this time, you will have reread the texts, and we will explore ways of interpreting the texts for contemporary concerns. This session will be in the form of a discussion led by participants.
Interpreting the Republic
Interpreting the Bhagavadgītā
Vishwa holds PhDs from the New School and University of Marburg, Germany. He recently published 'The Nay Science' and is the author of many books and articles. Dr. Adluri teaches courses on: Approaches to Religion, Indian Philosophy, Christian Theology, Mysticism, Hinduism, art history and The Religious Meaning of Death. He has been thinking about Space, Time, and Death since he was 5.
Zoom link will be sent upon signup.
3 sessions on consecutive Sundays