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The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism

 

On the 9th of May, 5-6.30 pm (UK time), the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host Professor Jean-Marc Narbonne, who will hold the seminar: "Religion, Rhetoric and Politics in Sophocles‘ Antigone: some reflections". The meeting will be in hybrid mode and will take place in the Faculty of Divinity, Lightfoot Room. 

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Is Sophocles’ Antigone really about what it is considered generally to be about, the opposition between the sacred laws of the family (the oikos) as advocated by the heroin Antigone, determined to bury in due form her brother, and the laws of the city as defended by Creon,  the general (stratêgos) of Thebes who would not allow it? In a sense, undoubtedly, but instead of reading this masterpiece simply in a dual fashion, would it be possible to perceive in it a third dimension, a certain way of handling politic affairs different from the one followed by the tyrannical Creon, a more open, conciliativedemocratic way of resolving the conflicts. Isn’t this the message delivered and explained in details by Haemon to his father Creon, which again will be repeated with insistence by Tiresias the seer?  In this case, the meaning of the piece would not be the one traditionally considered but a more subtle one, and Sophocles himself, so intensively engaged in Athenian political affairs, a robust defender of democratic procedures after all. If this deliberative-democratic element, undeniable as we think in this work, was easily recognized by the public at the time of the first performance, how are we to explain our almost total blindness towards it since then? 

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JEAN-MARC NARBONNE, MSRC, author of Démocratie dans l’Antigone de Sophocle. Une relecture philosophique (2020), professor at Université Laval (Québec), is currently invited professor at Université Lyon-III.

 

Zoom link: https://cam-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/92202375749?pwd=cC9rODVNZkt0ZU5WRFVsZkdHeDNu...

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