Grand Illuminations | This Story May Save Your Soul

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The typical definition of the word “humanities” might include famous thinkers like Aristotle or St. Thomas Aquinas, or famous works of the classics era.

But Tony Cunningham and Bill Pelfrey had a different idea.

“He (Pelfrey, a 1988 SJU graduate) wished to fund a lecture series that would make the humanities ‘personal’ in the sense of testifying to how the humanities affected the lecturer’s life, and how they might affect the lives of students in meaningful ways,” said Cunningham, a professor of philosophy at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.

“Bill likes to think of the series as the ‘un-lecture’ series in the sense of being lectures that engage with the ‘business of living,’ not just arcane academic issues,” Cunningham said.

That’s why they created the six-part Grand Illuminations: Speaking from the Heart series, to be spread over the 2021-22 academic year at CSB/SJU.

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