Podlich Distinguished Fellow, Leszek Kolakowski, In Residence Through March 15

Renowned philosopher and historian Leszek Kolakowski is the 2002 Podlich Distinguished Fellow. He will be in residence from Jan. 28 through March 30, during which he will teach, meet with students and faculty, and deliver two lectures at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

Kolakowski rose to prominence in the 1950s and ’60s at the University of Warsaw as a political activist and theorist, and wrote his defining three-volume work, Main Currents of Marxism, while a visiting professor at Berkeley in the ’70s. He has also held positions at the University of Chicago and Oxford University. He is the author of more than 30 books including Modernity on Endless Trial, Freedom, Fame, Lying and Betrayal, Husserl and the Search for Certititude, and God Owes Us Nothing, a study of Pascal and the problem of theodicy.

“Perhaps there are other people who can make a 300-year-old dispute over the proper interpretation of St. Augustine and the concept of sufficient grace gripping,” wrote one recent reviewer, “but there surely cannot be many.”

The greatest historian and critic of Marxism of our time, his work, renowned for its depth and wit, explores the limits of science, politics and ideology, the nature and limits of modernity, and the nature of religion. He is a fellow of the British Academy, the Academi Universelle des Cultures, a Foreign Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the International Institute of Philosophy. He has been widely honored and received a MacArthur Fellowship, the Jefferson Award, the Prix Tocqueville, and six honorary doctorates.

He will deliver two Athenaeum lectures, On Natural Law (Feb. 12), and On the Future of Truth (March 7), and will teach a seminar with Robert Faggen, associate professor of literature, titled Science and Faith in Modern Literature, in addition to meeting with other students and faculty.

For online reservations for Dr. Kolakowski’s appearances at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, contact the Athenaeum at athenaeum@claremontmckenna.edu or visit the Athenaeum web site.