MACON – The Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles at Mercer University will welcome Emory University's Dr. Donald Phillip Verene for a lecture, titled "A Renaissance Statesman, the Muses, and Philosophy," on Feb. 25.
The event is free and open to the public and will take place at 6 p.m. in Room 110 of the Science and Engineering Building on the Macon campus.
Dr. Verene is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Metaphysics and Morals and director of the Institute for Vico Studies at Emory. He is the author of 12 books, editor or co-editor of 12 books, and has published more than 200 articles, essays, translations, introductions, reviews, notes and encyclopedia entries.
His work focuses on the history of European philosophy, philosophy of culture, philosophy of literature, philosophy and rhetoric, and the traditions of Italian Humanism and German Idealism, especially Vico, Hegel and Cassirer.
In addition to his lecture, on Tuesday and Thursday of next week, Dr. Verene will lead the "America's Founding Principles" course being taught this semester by Dr. Charlotte Thomas. Dr. Thomas is professor of philosophy and co-director of the McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles.
"We are so fortunate to have Donald Phillip Verene on campus to teach our 'America's Founding Principles' course and to deliver this public lecture," said Dr. Thomas.
"He possesses an eloquent understanding of Italian humanism and humane learning, in general. It is easy to miss the importance of Italian republicanism for the American founding, because, for reasons I don't understand, it is an influence often neglected in the stories we tell about the birth of the American republic. There is no one better qualified to remedy this gap in our self-understanding than Professor Verene."
Dr. Verene earned his Ph.D. from Washington University in 1964 and was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters from Knox College in 1990.
He has served as a visiting fellow at Pembroke College of Oxford University, president of the Hegel Society of America, president of the Metaphysical Society of America and a fellow of the Academy of Lincei in Rome, Italy. Additionally, he received the Galileo Prize in Pisa, Italy, in 2005.
The McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles supplements Mercer's liberal arts program with a redoubled commitment to the foundational texts and ideas that have shaped Western Civilization and the American political order.
The Center's programming includes the annual A.V. Elliott Conference on Great Books and Ideas, faculty-student reading groups, a general education course on America's Founding Principles, summer Great Books programs for high school teachers and students, and undergraduate research fellowships.