The Hildebrand Project in collaboration with the Franciscan University of Steubenville hosted the “Power of Beauty” philosophical conference. The conference explored the power of beauty to renew both individual persons and entire communities. Many of the over sixty conference presenters took as their point of departure Fyodor Dostoevsky’s famous statement: “Beauty will save the world.” Speakers reflected on the transformative and even salvific effects of beauty by exploring its power to impart new life, to engender love, and to awaken deep aspirations in the human heart. Internationally renowned philosopher Roger Scruton gave the keynote address, “Beauty and Desecration.”
Scruton has written over 40 books as well as many crucial studies in applied philosophy, including The Aesthetics of Architecture and Beauty: A Short Introduction. In his talk, he considered the place of beauty in everyday life, the role it plays in reconciling us to one another, and man’s inclination to desecrate beauty.
The conference featured over 60 papers in five concurrent sessions from artists and philosophers from around the world.
Friday, October 24
4:00 - 5:30 p.m. EST: Plenary address by Roger Scruton: Beauty and Desecration
7:30 - 9:00 p.m. EST: Panel discussion with Roger Scruton
Saturday, October 25
4:45 - 6:00 p.m. EST: Concluding panel discussion with artists responding to the conference.
In addition to presentations by philosophers and theologians, artists and critics, the conference featured presentations by the winners of the Graduate Student Essay Contest sponsored by the Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project.