Scholar Jean Bethke Elshtain Explores Moral Worlds of Batman and St. Augustine in Lecture
Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion Hosts Event
WACO, Texas (Sept. 20, 2012) — “The Dark Knight and the Saint: Reflections on Batman and St. Augustine” will be the topic of a lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 25, by Jean Bethke Elshtain, Ph.D., Visiting Distinguished Professor of Religion and Public Life in Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion.
In the wake of the Colorado movie theater massacre, a number of commentators condemned the film or raised questions about the role it allegedly played in bestirring the shooter to violence.
In her lecture, hosted by Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion, Elshtain will explore the moral world of Gotham City and the late Roman Empire through the lens of Batman and St. Augustine. She will argue that condemning the film for rousing the shooter to action is a terrible misunderstanding of Batman’s moral world and that St. Augustine “pierces through the darkness and assists us in orienting ourselves to the light” — as does Batman amid moral ambiguity.
The lecture will be at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 25 in the Baylor Sciences Building, Room D110 at 101 Bagby Ave., Waco.
Elshtain is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; she has been a Guggenheim Fellow; a Fellow at the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation; the holder of the Maguire Chair in Ethics at the Library of Congress; a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, and a member of its Board of Trustees. In 2002 she received the Goodnow Award, the highest award bestowed by the American Political Science Association. She has served on the Board of the National Humanities Center and the President's Council of Bioethics. She is a member of the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Scholars Council of the Library of Congress.
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Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. Its mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, embracing the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While always striving for scientific objectivity, ISR scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve.