Part 6, 2 September 2019

The Ghosts of Utopias: Past, Present, and Future

Dr Mark Jennings

CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINKS TO DOWNLOAD THE LECTURE MATERIALS: LECTURE TRANSCRIPT; LECTURE SLIDES.

LECTURE ABSTRACT:

Both before and after Thomas More wrote his “little, true book” describing the inhabitants of the island of “Utopia” (literally “no such place”), people have been attempting to realise ideal visions of life together. More was writing satirically and critically, yet his work is animated by an ideal vision that is grounded upon … something. What is the history of our ideas about utopia? Rambling through the Judeo-Christian tradition, the thought of the Classical Greeks, the Renaissance, and finally arriving at modernity, in this session we will try to comprehend some of this history. Perhaps this can help us diagnose the world we find ourselves in, and possibly imagine another one.

Recommended reading: Utopia by Thomas More, full text available here.