Ralston College presents



a conference for thinkers

april 15-18, 2020

γνῶθι σεαυτόν
Know thyself

—From the Temple of Apollo at Delphi

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lit.


Savannah Symposium

a conference for thinkers

Three intense days of grappling with big questions while reading one of the greatest texts ever written. Lectures by leading intellectuals and discussion groups led by great teachers. Encounters with Beethoven, Plato, Shakespeare. Conviviality and conversation lasting late into the night. An environment absolutely committed to freedom of thought, to listening intently to each other and, above all, to discovering the truth about the most important things.

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Iain McGilchrist

A  thinker of dazzling variety who spans both humanistic and scientific domains, McGilchrist is best known for reinvigorating interest in the divided brain. He argues that this division, which pits analysis of the particular against that of the whole, has shaped Western culture and critically underlies our present crisis.

Yeonmi Park

Ms Park escaped from hell and human trafficking to become a bold and articulate whistle-blower on the horrors of North Korea and its quest to repress freedom, human dignity, and even love. Her passionate firsthand account of resistance to authoritarian cruelty offers both a powerful vision of human resilience and an acute analysis of the perversions of power.

Jordan Peterson

A towering public intellectual whose ideas have reached hundreds of millions, Peterson has shown equal agility analyzing contemporary culture as he has in interpreting the Bible through his honed psychological lens. In his refreshing analysis of Western tradition through new conceptions of the mind, Peterson brings to the Symposium a thoughtful mediation between the old and the new.

Claire Lehmann

The founder and editor of the fearless online journal Quillette, Lehmann is at the forefront of the defense of free inquiry. In addition to sustaining a leading online publication through grass-roots means, Lehmann speaks and publishes on the ethical boundaries of scientific research and the importance of intellectual diversity.

Douglas Hedley

A professor of philosophy and religion at the University of Cambridge, Hedley works on conceptions of imagination, beauty, violence, and the sublime. He argues for imaginative labor as central to human endeavor, helping us to make sense of the natural order, mediate our relationship with the divine, and furnish our understanding of the self.

Eli Diamond

An inspired lecturer and a brilliant scholar of Ancient Greek philosophy, Diamond will guide our daily excursions into the fulcrum text of our event: Plato’s Symposium. His clear and penetrating explication and ability to make connections between antiquity and present exemplify two central tenets of the Savannah Symposium.

Additional speakers and a full schedule of events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Savannah, Georgia

Sunny, subtropical Savannah is one of the most beautiful cities of the continent. It has a remarkably preserved downtown district whose architectural wonders and antebellum Southern style date back to the early eighteenth century. Its distinct Spanish moss and live oak trees drape across cobblestone roads, offering shade and scenery for pedestrians strolling past its magnificent squares, ambling down lively River Street, or resting in the shadow of the neo-Gothic Cathedral of St John the Baptist. Few cities are more captivating than Savannah in the spring. Amidst the breathtaking urban and natural beauty, you'll find cafés, museums, nightlife, and historical monuments around each corner—an ideal setting for a symposium centered around beauty, conviviality, and the inheritance of the past.



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