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Boston College philosopher visits Loyola to discuss immigrant interaction

March 20, 2009

Philosopher, novelist and professor Richard Kearney will visit Loyola University New Orleans to give a lecture, “Hosting the Stranger: Aliens, Enemies and Others,” on Thursday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. The lecture will focus on how Western culture has historically been uncertain with whether to be hostile and hospitable when it comes to dealing with those who are uninvited. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“Whether it is dealing with the alien as immigrant or the enemy as Islamic threat, this lecture explores why welcoming the ‘other’ is a key factor in working through the crises that face us today,” said Kearney.

“Christianity, Judaism and Islam all share a common root in that all three are part of the Abrahamic religions,” said Kearney. “Another common root is the choice of hospitality over hostility when faced with the uninvited guest.”

Kearney holds the Charles B. Seelig Chair of Philosophy at Boston College and has served as a visiting professor at University College Dublin, the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and the University of Nice.

Kearney is the author of more than 20 books on European philosophy and literature, including two novels and a volume of poetry, and has edited or co-edited 14 more. He was formerly a member of the Arts Council of Ireland, the Higher Education Authority of Ireland and chairman of the Irish School of Film at University College Dublin.

As a public intellectual in Ireland, he was involved in drafting a number of proposals for a Northern Irish peace agreement and in speechwriting for Irish President Mary Robinson.

Kearney has presented five series on culture and philosophy for Irish and British television which has been broadcast widely in Europe.

His most recent work in philosophy comprises the trilogy, “Philosophy at the Limit.” The three volumes included in it are “On Stories,” “The God Who May Be,” and “Strangers, Gods and Monsters.”

For additional information about the lecture, contact Boyd Blundell, assistant professor of religious studies, at blundell@loyno.edu or call 504-865-3063.

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