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Inaugural lecture Mr Prof F.L. Roig Lanzillotta: The ideal of the Real: Plato's Myths, Gnosticism, and the Historical Jesus

When:Tu 09-04-2019 16:15 - 17:00
Where:Aula Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

In his inaugural lecture, Lanzillotta will focus on the notion of myth, starting from the French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, who affirmed that myth is a form of communication. Indeed, the Greek word mythos originally meant ‘speech’ or ‘word’. For Lévi-Strauss, human beings are language: ‘whoever says Man, says Language, and whoever says Language, says Society’. Like all animals, humans are part of nature. However, they are also different from the rest of nature, since they create the ideal world in which they live by means of language. The clash between culture and nature is central to Lévi-Strauss’s work in general and to his explanation of myth in particular. In fact, in his view, it is this clash between the ideal and the real – the opposition between reality and how we understand it – which produces myth. In traditional societies, myths serve to fill the gap between the ideal and the real world. By playfully combining elements from both worlds, myths do not take away the contradictions, but they make them bearable.

See also this newsarticle on the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies website

More information

  • Inaugural lecture: Mr Prof F.L. Roig Lanzillotta
  • Title: The ideal of the Real: Plato's Myths, Gnosticism, and the Historical Jesus
  • Chair: New Testament and Early Christianity
  • Faculty: Theology and Religious Studies
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