What We Do
The program hosts guest lectures, sponsors new research, and fosters curricular innovations that ask: Why it is that some people have the spiritual courage to act conscientiously, where others abandon themselves to mass movements?
The Project includes:
- Fellowships for young scholars working in philosophy, theology, and psychology
- Lectures by internationally renowned experts in diverse fields
- A new series of courses at Bard College titled The Practice of Courage
While we tend to value courage—Hannah Arendt even called it the highest political virtue—historically the concept has veered from the noble to the dangerous. From Antigone to suicide bombers, courage has been construed as heroic and/or dangerously solipsistic. This series of seminars asks the question: What is the practice of courageous action in the 21st century? Students are required to attend three evening lectures on Mondays from 6-8. There will also be dinner discussions with guest speakers and students from other sections of the College Seminar.
Hannah Arendt on Courage
"Whoever entered the political realm had first to be ready to risk his life, and too great a love for life obstructed freedom, was a sure sign of slavishness. Courage therefore became the political virtue par excellence, and only those men who possessed it could be admitted to a fellowship that was political in content and purpose and thereby transcended the mere togetherness imposed on all—slaves, barbarians, and Greeks alike—through the urgencies of life."
— The Human Condition