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eighth day institute
renewing culture through faith and learning
Let us seek, let us search, let us examine, let us inquire.   - St John of Damascussymposia.html
eighth day institute at The Ladder       2836 e douglas ave       wichita, ks  67214       316.573.8413        erin@eighthdayinstitute.com
         EIGHTH DAY 

renewing culture through faith & learning
Let us seek, let us search, let us examine, let us inquire.      - St John of Damascus



the divine & the demonic
January 24-26, 2013
St. George Orthodox Cathedral
Wichita, KS
EIGHTH DAY SYMPOSIUM n. A mere christian gathering for the renewal of culture through the stimulation of heart & mind.
Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible.  God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.   – Dostoevsky
Baylor University, Professor of Literature and Theology
University of Missouri, Professor of Creative Writing
The Center for Western Studies, Founder & Director
The Classical Teacher, Managing Editor

The wise king Solomon could just as well have said: “Of making many books on Dostoevsky there is no end.”  Consider, for example, Joseph Frank’s whopping 2500-page, five-volume biography (recently made a bit more accessible in a 950-page, single volume).  Or, for a few more recent examples, see Ellis Sandoz’s Political Apocalypse: A Study of Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor, or the Cambridge Studies in Russian Literature volume Dostoevsky and the Christian Tradition, or Remembering the End: Dostoevsky as Prophet to Modernity by P. Travis Kroeker and Bruce Ward, or Rowan Williams’ inaugural contribution to Baylor University’s The Making of the Christian Imagination series: Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction

The list could go on and on but we’ll stop with Williams’ book.  Dr. Ralph Wood says it is the best introduction to Dostoevsky.  We trust Dr. Wood so we decided to read it.  We especially like the opening paragraph in which Williams refuses to apologize for contributing yet another book on Dostoevsky.  He argues that it is highly unlikely for a “completely superfluous book” ever to be written on the subject since, as Dostoevsky believed, the whole point of writing is to create an ongoing dialogue.  We too refuse to apologize.  We are proud to make Dostoevsky the focus of our third annual Eighth Day Symposium.  And we hope to make a humble contribution to the Dostoevskyan dialogue.

Any number of directions could be pursued in our approach to Dostoevsky.  For assistance in narrowing our focus, we turned to the Russian philosopher Nicolas Berdyaev.  In his 1918 article, “The Revelation About Man in the Creativity of Dostoevsky,” Berdyaev asserts that Dostoevsky was first and foremost “a great anthropologist, an investigator of human nature, its depth and its mystery.”  Berdyaev is right.  Dostoevsky’s anthropological investigations into the human heart powerfully portray the battle waged between the divine and the demonic, the perpetual struggle between the carnal and the spiritual.  This year’s symposium thus focuses on Dostoevsky and his portrayal of humanity’s struggle to break free from the carnal realm of the demonic so as to ascend into a participation in the nature of the divine.

We invite you to join us at this mere Christian gathering in Wichita, KS on Jan 24-26, 2013 at St. George Orthodox Cathedral.  We have expanded it considerably this year by adding an extra day, three additional speakers, a banquet celebrating the feast day of St. Gregory the Theologian, a concert, and a four-day iconography workshop on Jan 27-30.  Our goal is to stimulate your heart and mind, encouraging your ascent of the divine ladder and turning your gaze toward the glory of the One who is Beauty. And our prayer is that your experience will lead you home radiating that beauty, thereby inevitably renewing our local communities and the broader Western culture.  For, as Solzhenitsyn said in his acceptance address for the Nobel Prize in Literature, “it was not a slip of the tongue for Dostoevsky to say that ‘Beauty will save the world,’ but a prophecy.”

early discounted registration ends jan 11
due to limited space, registration limited to first 250 registrants