Core Human Questions Cluster

For academic year 2022-2023. 

Crisis and Decision

We face today a great number of collective global and national crises: public health, political polarization, racial injustice, social inequality, religious intolerance, ecological collapse, among many others. These crises might be solved by a unity of wills and desires, but such unity and with it, viable solutions, appears more and more difficult to achieve. Yet krino, κρίνω, the Greek word from which “crisis” is derived,is also at the heart of the word “decision.” Crisis, therefore, is not a danger to be avoided but an opportunity to decide, as individuals living in community, what kind of world we want to create and to share. 

The seminars in Core Human Questions this year will ask the question, “How have humans used moments of danger and crisis to reimagine who we are and who we could be?”  We will examine how visual and literary art, philosophy, and mathematics allow us both to express and to understand the emotional and intellectual upheaval of moral dilemma. Together we will investigate how, in the midst of struggle and pain, there can also exist the power to forge connections that shape our human experience, impact our sense of life’s meaning, and ultimately motivate us to take positive action.