Archive for March, 2009

Speaking of the Bodhi Tree

It seems that several members of the philosophy department have had Bodhi Tree sightings…. Deane Curtin has shared two photos of the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist pilgrimage site that he and students visited during his January, 2009 course Buddhist India. Thanks to Deane for these images. And Doug Huff reports that he […]

The Bodhi Tree’s Swedish Offshoot

Even the casual student of Buddhism has probably heard the story of Siddhartha Gautama’s long sit under a fig tree, during which time he reached enlightenment. That tree, now referred to as the Bodhi Tree, was  in Bodh Gaya, India; a current descendant of it, found near the Mahabhodi Temple in that city,  is today […]

Welcome home Sara Jane

The Reverend Paul Tidemann, who recently spoke at our biennial “Mom, Dad, I’m a Philosophy Major” dinner, shared with us the following remarks he wrote regarding Sara Jane Olson, who has been paroled from prison after serving a sentence for her involvement in the activities of the Symbionese Liberation Army, during the Vietnam War. Tidemann’s […]

Philosophy alumni present

The philosophy department welcomed back three wonderful alumni–Tad Marinac, Shel Silvernail and Paul Tidemann–on Wednesday, March 18, for the semi-annual dinners-and-discussions that we call “Mom, Dad…I’m a Philosophy Major.” The Rev. Paul Tidemann (’60) provided us with a written copy of his remarks. Shel Silvernal (’90) discussed the ways in which her life as a […]

Kant attack ad….

And now, just a couple months too late to inform your November vote, comes this paid political announcement about Immanuel Kant.

Examined Life: The Movie!

Yep, you read right.  “Examined Life,” a new film by Astra Taylor, takes you into the heads of eight real, live, honest-to-gosh, dues-paying philosophers. (Okay, just kidding about the dues part.) Watch for its DVD release soon…but in the meantime, check out this trailer.

Calling Home: Journals From India

In January Term, 2009, Deane Curtin led a group of students to India, in a course entitled “Buddhist India.” Caleb Phillips, a senior philosophy member, was a part of that course, and he kept a journal while he was there. Below are some excerpts from his journal. I don’t know if I wrote about Kolkata […]

Mark Wirbisky (’08)

Mark is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Viola Performance at Illinois State University. In addition to school orchestra, he is currently a full season member of the Sinfonia da Camera in Urbana, Illinois, and also a substitute player with the Illinois Symphony and Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestras. His orchestra’s website is

Ghana: Post Independence Reflections

On March 6, the fifty-second anniversary of Ghana’s independence, the Philosophy Department hosted a small gathering in the Courtyard Café, to celebrate that independence (and the role of its leader, the philosopher Kwame Nkrumah), and also to learn about Ghana today. We heard from three Ghanaians who are a part of the Gustavus community: Sidonia […]

Stephen Henderson (’96)

Stephen Henderson (’96) teaches English in Osaka, Japan. He reports that “My two most memorable conversations were with an 80-year old man who fled Japan to China in the 1930s and lived out the war hiding in Manchuria. He had hundreds of wonderful stories to tell. I also had the opportunity to “interview” a woman […]