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Whether your interest is Western classical literature (from Homer & Thucydides to Dante's Inferno or Voltaire's Candide), philosophy (from Plato & Aristotle to Descartes & Kant), religion (from Augustine & Aquinas to Schleirmacher & Rahner) or science (from Archimedes and Ptolemy to Galileo, Newton and Einstein, this Club is for you.

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The Consolation of Philosophy (Boethius)

The Royal Oak

I am surprised that it has taken us almost 7 years to get around to reading this classic. But I am delighted that the time has now arrived. Boethius was a Roman senator, consul and magister officiorum, as well as an eminent Greek scholar and philosopher, in the early 6th century. He was born in Rome around 480 A.D. to a patrician family and rose to prominence during the reign of the Ostrogothic King, Theoderic (by which he was imprisoned and executed in 524 A.D. on fabricated charges of treason by false witnesses, for leaping to the defence of an ex-consul who had himself been accused of treason). He wrote "The Consolation of Philosophy" while in prison in 523 A.D.. The book takes the form of a dialogue between himself (Boethius) and Lady Philosophy about the transitory nature of fame, wealth & fortune; about the ultimate superiority of things of the mind, which she calls the "one true good"; and about virtue, free will, happiness, and loss. And while Boethius was himself a Christian, the "Consolation" is not expressly a Christian text (although it unmistakingly embodies Christian values). It is considered the most significant and final work to come from what many scholars consider the last of the Romans, and the first of the Scholastics. It draws from Boethius' lifetime of studying the works on Plato, Aristotle, Porphyry, Plotinus and other classical writers. It became one of the central texts of the medieval Christian philosophers (along with the works on Augustine & Anselm), and heavily influenced Dante and Chaucer. While the "Consolation" contains elements of Aristotelianism, Stoicism & Neoplatonism, it is also informed by the belief in a personal God. We will be led in this reading by James Hendry. You won't want to miss this one. sign up now. Robaire

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