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The Cardinal Sins

EVT 503
Apr 29
9:00 am—4:30 pm
To be announced
Status: Open
We invite you to join us for this special Saturday program with Herant Katchadourian, one of Stanford’s most distinguished and beloved professors (his courses have enrolled over 20,000 undergraduates) as he reflects on the seven deadly or “Cardinal” sins: pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust. Unlike the Ten Commandments, which are concerned with what people should and should not do, the Cardinal Sins point to the impulses that lead to moral violations. For instance, greed may lead to stealing, anger to murder, and lust to adultery.

Through the extensive use of slides, the program will draw from the large body of art representing the Cardinal Sins, including work from William Blake, Hieronymus Bosch, and Pieter Bruegel, and illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy. In addition to their religious significance, we will consider the psychological roots and motivations underlying these vices. Though we usually think of pride, envy, anger, and the other sins as personal failings, they also characterize the behavior of institutions, such as the greed of banks, or the pride of social clubs.

The day will begin with coffee and muffins. During the morning session, we will discuss the historical and religious contexts of ancient moral and legal codes and the subsequent emergence of the concept of Cardinal Sins early in the Christian era. Following our lunch together, we will address in greater detail the individual sins, all copiously illustrated with slides of artwork from across the centuries.

Advance registration is REQUIRED. The event fee is non-refundable.

In addition to hosting this special program, Professor Herant Katchadourian will teach a five-week course on "The Psychology of Guilt" this Spring. For more information, please see the course page.

Herant Katchadourian, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Biology, Emeritus, Stanford; Former President, Flora Family Foundation

Herant Katchadourian has served as Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Stanford. He received the Dinkelspiel, Lyman, and ASSU awards and has been selected seven times as Outstanding Professor and Class Day speaker.
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