Is the West eccentric?

An exclusive lecture by Remi Brague

Remi Brague

For our ninth Ramsay Lecture for 2023, the Centre is delighted to present an exploration of the topic Is the West eccentric? in a recorded conversation between Centre CEO Professor Simon Haines and esteemed French philosopher Rémi Brague, best-selling author and Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Religious Philosophy at the University of Paris, the Sorbonne.

In their discussion, the pair explore Professor Brague’s theory that the West is an outlier civilisation that uniquely acknowledges the superiority of some elements of foreign culture, in particular Classical culture.

Professor Brague traces this ability back to the essential role of Rome, claiming that it was the sense of inferiority that the ancient Romans felt towards the Greeks (culturally not militarily) that saw them develop an indispensable ability to draw together and assimilate cultural traditions.

This psychology of “secondarité” or inferiority never left the West, Professor Brague claims, and consequently the West with roots in Athens and Jerusalem drew heavily from both and continues to be uniquely open to other cultures and influences. The West is also more accepting than other civilisations of transmitting other influences in their whole form into its own, he argues.

Please join us for this captivating lecture with Professor Rémi Brague.

Remi Brague

Professor Brague, born in Paris in 1947, has spent a lifetime exploring the roots of Western civilisation, engaging with Classical, Medieval, and Modern texts in their own languages.

In addition to being Emeritus Professor at the Sorbonne, Rémi Brague is also the Romano Guardini Chair at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He is a member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques and has had visiting professorships with Penn State, Boston University, Boston College, Trinity College (Dublin), Universidad de Navarra, and Università San Raffaele (Milan).

His published books in English include Eccentric Culture, The Wisdom of the World, The Law of God, The Kingdom of Man, The Legend of the Middle Ages, On the God of the Christians, Anchors in the Heavens, Moderately Modern, The Legitimacy of the Human, Curing Mad Truths.

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