Profiles in Leadership Fall Lecture Series — Aquinas College - Nashville, Tennessee
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Profiles in Leadership Fall Lecture Series

October 6, 2020 @ 11:20 am1:30 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 20, 2020 at 11:20 am

One event on October 27, 2020 at 11:20 am


The Fall Lecture Series returns this election year with three profiles in leadership. Lectures will take place in Breen Hall in Aquinas Main Building, 11:20 a.m. Due to health precautions during COVID-19, this series is open to current students, faculty, and staff of Aquinas College. It is not open to the public. 

October 6, 2020
“Learning to Lead: From Passive Spectating to Civil Engagement in Homer’s Telemachy”         
Sr. Mary Edith Humphries, O.P., Ph.D.

In the first books of Homer’s Odyssey, the story centers on the son of Odysseus, Telemachus, and life on the island of Ithaca, struggling after twenty years without its king. We meet the teenaged Telemachus in his home, a home now ravaged by the suitors who stay there vying to marry Penelope, the Queen.  Telemachus is daydreaming of his father coming back to set things straight, when Athene, the goddess of wisdom and protector of civilization, arrives to transform Telemachus from a passive spectator of a disordered home (and city), to an engaged leader who begins the process of reclaiming  the right ordering of  his own home and his city. It is this training in civic engagement that will addressed in this paper. 

October 20, 2020
“John Quincy Adams and the Spirit of Public Service”
Vince Ryan, Ph.D.

Though his tenure at the White House is generally viewed as an unsuccessful presidency, John Quincy Adams nevertheless remains a highly-regarded figure in American history. This stellar reputation is rooted in his many achievements as a diplomat, but also due to his willingness to take bold, controversial stances on contentious issues during his time serving as a United States Senator and later as a member of the House of Representatives. This talk will consider the spirit of service that animated his 60+ years of engagement with American public life.

October 27, 2020
Dante’s Plea for Good Governance                        
Katherine Haynes, Ph.D.

As a person of no fixed abode in calamitous fourteenth-century Europe, the mature Dante Alighieri was acutely aware of his own personal vulnerabilities and his society’s. During his final years, he marshalled his considerable intellect, education, and rhetorical skills to publicize his world’s need for peace and security and to present an alternative to fractious regionalism. This he based upon Holy Scripture, Church tradition, and respected classical theorists and precedents as outlined in a political treatise, Monarchia, but also explored in his epic, Commedia. The modern standard interpretation of Dante’s plan as anti-Papal and pro-Imperial minimizes the significance of his core plea. Addressed to the ruling classes with every expectation that his controversial message would become widely disseminated, he called upon his audience to fulfill their obligation to establish and secure a stable, virtuous government that would provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare, such that the vulnerable are protected and society would be free to flourish. This lecture explores Dante’s political theories in light of current events and the obligation of every American Catholic to participate in the political life of society with a conscience formed by the teachings of the Church, especially Catholic social doctrine. Insofar as many social ills remain either directly caused by or compounded by humans themselves, Dante’s message has resonance for today.


October 6, 2020
11:20 am–1:30 pm
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Aquinas College Breen Hall
4210 Harding Pike
Nashville, TN 37205
(615) 297-7545

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