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College News

Lucretius Conference Scheduled for March 19-20 at St. John Fisher College


St. John Fisher College will host "Lucretius: His Continuing Influence and Contemporary Relevance" on Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Philosophy and Classical Studies. All sessions are free and open to the public.

Titus Lucretius Carus (ca. 99 BCE - ca. 55 BCE) was an Ancient Roman poet and philosopher best known for his monumental work On the Nature of Things. In it, he defends the materialistic philosophy of Epicurus, and argues that one should not fear death. Throughout the two-day event, various presenters will discuss what is known about Lucretius's life and work, as well as the ways he has influenced many later thinkers.

The full schedule is as follows:

Location: Midlevel of the Golisano Academic Gateway

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.


8:30 – 8:40 a.m.

Introduction: Dr. Tim Madigan, St. John Fisher College

8:40 – 9:20 a.m.

“Lucretius on Death: Replies to Buddha, Nietzsche, and the Governor of California,” presented by Dr. David Suits, Rochester Institute of Technology

9:30 – 10:20 a.m.

“Newton and Lucretius,” presented by Dr. William Jensen, University of Cincinnati

10:20 – 11:00 a.m.

“On Religion and Paradox in Lucretius,” presented by Dr. Charles Natoli, St. John Fisher College

11:00 – 11:40 a.m.

“George Santayana on Lucretius as a Philosophical Poet,” presented by Dr. Tim Madigan, St. John Fisher College

11:40 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

“The Art and Science of Not Knowing: Lucretius and Agnosticism,” presented by Dr. David White, St. John Fisher College

12:00 – 1:45 p.m.

Lunch Break

1:45 – 2:25 p.m.

“‘As Stupid as the Clinamen?’ Human Responsibility and Error in Spinoza and Lucretius,” presented by Dr. Melissa Shew, Marquette University

2:25 – 3:05 p.m.

“Science and the Humanities Together in Lucretius,” presented by Dr. John Lenz, Drew University

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

Open Discussion: Lucretius’s Continuing Relevance

Location: Basil 135

8:30 – 9:10 a.m.


9:10 – 9:50 a.m.

“Putting Lucretius’s Ideas into the Language of the 21st Century,” presented by Dr. John Mayer, Brock University

10:10 – 10:50 a.m.

“Lucretius and Death,” presented by Dane Gordon, Rochester Institute of Technology

For more information, please contact Dr. Tim Madigan, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at St. John Fisher College, at (585) 385-5259 or

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