Thinking Inside and Outside the University: Zena Hitz on the Inner Life

Nov 10, 2020
Back to Events

Free and open to the public. This event will be held online through Zoom (registration required) and YouTube live-stream. This event is presented by the Lumen Christi Institute Forum on the Church in Higher Education as part of its Liberal Arts Colloquium. This event is cosponsored by The Point magazine, the Saint Benedict Institute, Calvert House Catholic CenterPrinceton University Press, and the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage.

In a world where efficiency and utility are the standards by which we measure success, how do we appreciate what resists quantification? And at a moment of institutional change and instability for higher education, what do we hold onto?

In her new book, Lost in Thought, Zena Hitz lays out the case for the inner life as a good in itself. Today, when even the humanities are often defended only for their economic or political usefulness, Hitz says our intellectual lives are valuable not despite but because of their practical uselessness. Within or without institutional structures, the intellectual life offers a source of meaning and fulfillment.

In this webinar conversation with Jared Ortiz, Hitz will elucidate the hidden pleasures of contemplation, assess the possibilities for its re-emergence in the contemporary university, and debate whether figures as dissimilar as the Virgin Mary, Albert Einstein, and Malcom X can be said to participate in a common intellectual activity.