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The Institute for the Liberal Arts

Phronesis, Faith, and the Task of Envisioning a Social Global Imaginary

11th annual meeting for the society for ricoeur studies

Phronesis, Faith, and the Task of Envisioning a Social Global Imaginary

Thursday, October 5
Faculty Dining Room,
Boston College

Friday, October 6
Boston College
Corcoran Commons

Saturday, October 7
  Boston University School of Theology

Taking place at Boston College and Boston University from October 5-7, 2017, the conference theme aims to explore critical and constructive responses to the current social, political, and economic landscape via interdisciplinary research on Ricoeur’s expansive work. The theme is intended to be ambitious by asking delegates to link critical discussion explicitly to constructive answers and remedies. The term “faith” in the title broadly designates an openness to religious, moral, and political traditions as sources of innovation. The term “phronesis,” while specific to individual practical reasoning, encompasses also the recognition of limits informing, perhaps even threatening, a sense of fragility underlying our attempts at constructive response. In short, phronesis on Ricoeur’s view involves wise action with an understanding of the importance of forgiveness. What the conference organizers hope will come from the discussions is a sense of what may constitute a more inclusive and vigilant social imaginary—or what might be key conceptual, aesthetic, psychological, and religious themes conducive to the good life with and for others in just institutions.



Plenary Speakers:

Laurel Kendall

Richard Kearney

Boston College

Michael Puett

Sophie-Jan Arrien

Université Laval

Ian Teh

John Sallis

Boston College

There are three plenary speakers—Professor Richard Kearney (Boston College), Professor John Sallis (Boston College) and Professor Sophie-Jan Arrien (Université Laval). A former student of Ricoeur, Professor Kearney is an expert on Ricoeur’s work and has applied aspects of Ricoeur’s political theory in drafting proposals for the Northern Irish peace agreement (1983, 1993, 1995). Professor Arrien is one of the most prominent and leading scholars on philosophical hermeneutics, with much of her research focusing on the intersection between philosophy and theology in Ricoeur’s work. The special presentation by Professor John Sallis (Boston College)—who also knew Ricoeur personally—on his art exhibition on Chinese landscapes (Spring 2018) will draw on the philosophy of place, Chinese art, and aspects of Ricoeur’s theory of imagination.


Contact Information

Inquiries about the conference may be sent to the Conference Committee:

Dr. Todd Mei
Society President, University of Kent

Dr. Stephanie Arel
Society Vice President, Treasurer-Secretary, Boston University

Dr. Timo Helenius
Conference Organizer, Brown University

Christine Rojcewicz
Conference Organizer, Boston College