Kategorie Vortrag
Titel Gastvortrag: "From the Greeks to Google: How the Alphabet Has Shaped the Western View of the World" (Prof. Laurence De Looze, Western University, Ontario - TP C09)
Termine Freitag, 05.07.2019 11:50 Uhr
Ort Ernst-Robert-Curtius-Saal im Romanischen Seminar, 2. OG RS 218

This talk investigates how in Western culture the alphabet has served, from the ancient Greeks to our own day, as a lens for conceptualizing the world. The pagan Greco-Roman view of alphabetic letters as the elements (stoicheia in Greek; elementa in Latin) that made up the cosmos is taken over by Christianity and is best epitomized by Jesus’ announcement in Revelations 1:7 that “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” But whether Christianized, as in the Middle Ages, or secularized, as in the case of Renaissance printers, the alphabet has repeatedly expressed how Western culture sees the world; and the world, and even the cosmos, has been seen as a kind of alphabet. Moreover, we continue this tradition in ways small and large: learning one’s ABCs is a rite of socialization in the first year of primary school, and we all “naturally” arrange matters from A to Z, and never in a different order.