Special Lecture :
"From Plato to Ikiru
------ On the Examined Life and the Meaningful Death in the 'Stuck Society' with a Footnote from the Ritualization of Death in Early Modern Judaism"
- Lecturer :
- Prof.Hillel Levine (Boston University)
July 25, 2003 15:30-17:30
at 316 lecture room, Faculty of Letters, The University of Tokyo
Professor Hillel Levine, who is a specially
appointed professor for the COE Project "Death and Life Studies",
gave a workshop on Wednesday, June 25th. Professor Levine teaches and works globally, specializing in the Sociology
of Judaism and the comparative sociology of religion.
As the title of the workshop suggests, moreover, Professor Levine has
a growing interest in Japan. With about 30-40 people attending, the
classroom for the workshop was completely filled, such that we had to
bring chairs from other rooms. The talk and the discussion afterwards
were mainly conducted in English.
The talk focused on exploring ways to break out of a society that Professor
Levine described as "being stuck." He focused on how to formulate
and practice a meaningful perspective of death and life in such a society,
and focused on the process of the ritualization of death in early modern
Judaic history as an example from which to draw possible answers and
methods. As a comparative process in Japanese society, he discussed
the film "Ikiru" by Akira Kurowasa, which was
After about an hour long presentation by Professor Levine, a lively
interaction and discussion followed in both English and Japanese. Professor
Levine responded in a friendly and open attitude to the questions, and
the active and inquisitive discussion was extended an extra twenty minutes.