Virtuous and Vicious Responses To Tragedy

February 2, 2024 - February 3, 2024
Christopher Newport University

David Student Union
1 Avenue of The Arts
Newport News 23606
United States

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Virtuous and Vicious Responses to Tragedy

Suffering and tragic situations have always been a part of human experience. In the current globalized world of instantaneous media serious tragedies are constantly before us such as: wars, pandemics, bigotry, injustice, political polarization, and natural disasters. Furthermore, smaller scale personal tragedies continue to be very real such as: sickness, loneliness, the death of loved ones, financial ruin, romantic abandonment, and broken hopes and dreams. 

Many conflicting strategies for addressing such situations have been proposed in response to such tragedies. Both Stoic acceptance and cathartic lament have been advocated. Embracing skepticism, especially religious skepticism, about the goodness of reality has been one response. While some religious adherents have responded with theodicy, others have claimed that theodicy trivializes the significance of tragedy. Anger, activism, prayer, and simple silence have all been proposed as responses to the tragic. 

The Conference will be held in person February 2-3, 2024 at Christopher Newport University. Our keynote speakers will be Nancy Sherman (Feb 2) and Eleonore Stump (Feb 3 by video). 

Sponsored by The Christopher Newport University Department of Philosophy and Religion and The Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College

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