The Department of Philosophy at the University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a colloquium:
Reflecting on being thankful after the death of God – Prof Paul van Tongeren, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen & KU Leuven
We are faced with a certain embarrassment when it comes to being thankful in our time. The embarrassment does not relate so much to the thankfulness over against someone who gave us something, but the thankfulness for our existence, for those things “given to us” by chance and maybe even “for everything”. This thankfulness we cannot express well anymore, because we do not know whom we should be thankful to. I try to explain the connection of this thankfulness with what Nietzsche calls nihilism, and try to find a way which would enable us to be “thankful” even without God. With this in mind I twice make a journey through the history of reflection on thankfulness: the first time to trace the origin of the prevalent concept of thankfulness, the second time to identify aspects which have become or remained hidden. I draw on these hidden aspects to coin an alternative concept of thankfulness, which I then illustrate with reference to the well-known imagery of the Three Graces.
Venue: University of Pretoria, Humanities building, 20-4
Date: Friday, 12 February 2016