Saving the world? A Testimony
During her long life, the Hungarian-Jewish philosopher Ágnes Heller has seen a great deal of recent European history. As a Jew, she survived the Nazi regime in Budapest. She studied philosophy with György Lukács after the war and was active during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which was one of the most important political events of her life. In 1977, she was forced into exile because her convictions about Marxism clashed with the Communist Party. She lived in Australia and the USA and was appointed Professor of Philosophy in New York. Heller has now returned to Budapest, where Viktor Orbán’s regime treats her as a bothersome dissident.
Tonight, Ágnes Heller will look back on her life, as well as on the path Europe has taken for the last 75 years. She will talk of her life story as having been marked by the history of the 20th century. She will tell about experiences vested in the hope of earthly redemption and about experiences of the loss of this hope, as well as about the lessons she drew from them.
Music by Lluís Casanova Martínez who will play Abîme des Oiseaux on clarinet.
After the lecture, there will be a walk past several houses where stumbling stones have been laid. The stumbling stones (Stolpersteine) project is a European commemorative project by the German artist Gunter Demnig. The idea is to lay a stone in the pavement in front of every house where someone was deported, with the person’s name, date of birth and the date on which he/she was killed. The walk will stop at some of the houses to reflect and remember the deported person/people who lived there.
Thurs 4 May, 8.30 pm
About the lecturer
Ágnes Heller has written numerous books on ethics, existentialism and the history of philosophy. Among her many works are A Philosophy of Morals (1990), The Time is Out of Joint (2002) and The Immortal Comedy (2005).