The Art of Dying: An Evening Conversation

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Irvine Auditorium

3401 Spruce Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Join Collegium for it's 2nd Annual Ars Vivendi Arts Lecture featuring nationally renowned poet, Christian Wiman and Dr. Lydia Dugdale

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The Art of Dying: The Ars Vivendi Annual Arts Lecture

April 1, 7pm, Cafe 58 in Irvine Auditorium,

University of Pennsylvania

Featuring:

Christian Wiman, renowned poet and Professor of the Practice of Religion and Literature, Yale Divinity School

Lydia Dugdale, Director of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, Columbia University

Benjamin Franklin once said that the only things certain in this world are death and taxes. One could argue, however, that we live as though taxes are a given and death is an option. Why is this? Why is it that something like taxes, a human construct, are an unquestioned certainty, while unavoidable death is not?

Despite death’s inevitability, it is entirely human to possess a strong desire to live. This has enabled human beings to accomplish fantastic feats and beat insurmountable odds. Modern medicine is certainly among one of the greatest of these accomplishments. Diseases that were once catalysts for major epidemics have been forgotten. Even cancer has been somewhat tamed through the development of treatments and preventative measures for many of its forms. While developments such as these are noteworthy, they have also enabled us to push death further and further from our collective consciousness. Before many of the achievements of modern medicine, the care of the sick and dying was the domain of the clergy, family members, and friends. Dying was truly a community affair.

What is it we want when we can’t stop wanting? And how do we make that hunger productive and vital rather than corrosive and destructive? What are the relationships between art and faith, death and fame, heaven and oblivion. How we can learn to embrace the art of dying well?

These are the questions that animate the most recent work of both speakers who will join us to explore these most important questions. This event will feature award winning poet, Christian Wiman and Lydia Dugdale, Director of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, Columbia University. They will help us explore the topic of the art of dying well from their distinct perspectives, from that of an artist and that of a medical physician.

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Irvine Auditorium

3401 Spruce Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

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