The Program for Learning and Community Engagement (PLACE) at Texas A&M University-Texarkana will present the second in its 2017 series of Conversations on Science and Religion on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 11 a.m. in University Center 217 on the A&M-Texarkana campus at 7101 University Ave., Texarkana, Texas.
Dr. Doug Julien, associate professor of English, will discuss German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s 1882 work in a presentation titled “’God is dead. God remains dead. And we [science] have killed him’: Deconstructing ‘The Parable of the Madman’.”
The free event is open to the public.
“The basic idea of my talk is that in ‘The Parable of the Madman’ Nietzsche writes about a madman (perhaps himself) encountering a group of everyday folks – importantly folks who no longer believe in God – and famously declares ‘God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.’ He is not declaring he killed God or that folks should not believe in God, but is documenting what he sees as a cultural shift away from God to something else, adding that we don’t really understand the ramifications of what we did or how we did it,” Dr. Julien said in explaining his presentation.
“This is easy stuff of Philosophy 101 and most scholars would claim that science is that unnamed something else. This idea garners much of the attention people give to the parable — that and an attempt to clear up misreadings so that folks recognize that Nietzsche himself wasn’t killing God. What gets less attention in his parable is his questioning: ‘But how did we do this?’ and in the aftermath of what we did ‘Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions?’”
Dr. Julien, who has a degree in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society, is the 2017 Award for Teaching Excellence/Mentorship recipient at A&M-Texarkana.
“In my talk I’ll assert that science, technology and a different way of understanding time are the how of how did we do this and because of this different sense of time, our understanding of the world around us also took place. In doing so, I’ll trace three historical developments, focusing specifically on print-capitalism and mechanical reproduction; relativity, special relativity and space-time; and the philosophical idea of ‘homogenous, empty time.’ Ultimately, I argue our various mistaken understandings of time allow us to think in a limited and flawed way that Nietzsche announces in the parable.
“It’s a lot for 50 minutes.”
PLACE is a faculty-led program designed to create a community of learners comprising A&M-Texarkana students, faculty, staff and the community at large. PLACE chooses an annual theme around which to organize a lecture series and other activities that provide focal points for learning and discussion. This year’s theme is “Science and Technology.”