"Evil: The Artist's Response" is the second symposium in the "Dialogue: Belief and Non-Belief in Modern American Culture" series inaugurated last year.
With broadcaster Christopher Lydon serving as moderator, the panelists will reflect on their own work as they explore how personal considerations of belief and non-belief affect an artist's understanding and representation of evil.
The first of its kind in the United States, the "Belief and Non-Belief" series is modeled on the well-known, popular public conversations established by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, Archbishop of Milan, titled "The Chair for the Non-Believer." For years, Cardinal Martini has invited poets, philosophers, politicians, artists and others to talk publicly about their work and its relationship to their own belief or non-belief.
"Belief and Non-Belief" brings to Boston similar public discussions of the intersection between faith and modern culture. Last year's inaugural event probed the tensions between faith and science in "The Challenge of Medical Knowledge."
This year's forum features another impressive panel of speakers:
-Kathleen Norris is an award-winning poet and author of books including Dakota: A Spiritual Geography; Amazing Grace and The Cloister Walk. Amazing Grace was the winner of the Association of Theological Bookseller's Book of the Year Award.
-Joyce Carol Oates has been hailed as one of the most significant, enduring writers of the 20th century. A Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the National Book Award, she is the author of Them, Black Water, Zombie and, more recently, Beasts, Blonde and Faithless: Tales of Transgression, among other works.
-Cynthia Ozick is an author and essayist whose works include What Henry James Knew, The Puttermesser Papers, Bloodshed and Three Novellas and The Shawl. Her stories have won first prize in the O. Henry competition and appeared in Best American Short Stories anthologies.
-Moderator Christopher Lydon is the former host of National Public Radio's "The Connection." His World Wide Web site www.christopherlydon.org features interviews and forums on political, social and cultural matters.
Hancock Hall, site of the forum, is located at 180 Berkeley Street in Boston. The event is open to the public as seating permits. For more information, call 617-552-1716.
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