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Campus Activities

Ducharme Lecture: Classic Texts and the American Political System

September 23, 2020 September 23, 2020,
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Main Campus
Marion Burk Knott Auditorium


What would the great thinkers Mount students study in our sequenced and integrated core curriculum think about the American political system? Those who attend or watch the Fall 2020 Ducharme Lecture will have a unique opportunity to find out. Entitled “Classic Texts and the American Political System: St. Augustine, Machiavelli, and Plato.”

A distinguished faculty panel will compare our national political system with those proposed in Plato’s Republic, St. Augustine’s City of God, and Machiavelli’s The Prince. Philosophy Department lecturer, Stephen McGinley, M.A., will use the philosopher Plato and rapper Tupac Shakur to reflect on how the American polis understands the concept of “the good,” particularly as it is manifested in our notion of progress and in our educational and monetary systems.

Next, Theology Department Chair, Paige Hochschild, Ph.D., will help us understand how the Bishop of Hippo’s City of God prayerfully presents an ideal civil society defined by love, where God forgives sinners as they forgive each other. “St. Augustine,” Hochschild states, “helps us consider what real peace looks like, and what it does not look like.”

Then, History Department Chair and Director of the Mount’s Core Curriculum, Gregory Murry, Ph.D., will focus on the more pragmatic beliefs of the Florentine diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli. This political theorist, Murry argues, “made claims about human nature that continue to influence American political and economic systems, particularly those that focus on turning private vices into public benefits.”

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, September 23 at 4 p.m. in a socially distanced Knott Auditorium. The event will also be livestreamed.

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