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School of Liberal Arts Theme - 2017-2018 TIME

Spring Time Events
Open Mic
Time and religion
Jonathan Kruk: A Journey Back in Time
Flyer - History/Time/Change 1950-2017
Mercy College: History/Time/Change 1950-2017
Flyer - Transforming Lives Through the Arts
Transforming Lives Through the Arts

“What then is time?” Saint Augustine of Hippo famously asked in the Confessions: “If no one asks me, I know; if I try to explain it to someone who asks, I know not.” Fifteen centuries later -- despite the subsequent invention of the Gregorian calendar, Universal Coordinated Time, and even atomic clocks -- his fundamental question remains as relevant and perplexing as ever.
What then is time? It’s not simply “the thing that clocks measure” (an answer at once circular and unsatisfying); neither is it the historian’s timeline (a reductive spatial representation) nor the physicist’s “fourth dimension” of space-time. For while time may be essential for mathematically modeling the cosmos, it is also central to the lived human experience. Homo sapiens may be the only species at the nexus of all three tenses: living in the present (consciousness) while experiencing the past (memory) and worrying about the future (anticipatory cognition). Indeed, some have argued that time is an illusion generated from the way our brains construct reality: a figment of our collective imaginations. Both objective and subjective, real and illusory, fixed and elastic, everywhere and nowhere, time is nothing if not paradoxical.
In 2017-18, the School of Liberal Arts will host a series of events that explore time and temporality in all its various dimensions: philosophical, psychological, historical, anthropological, theological, scientific, and artistic. We invite you to join us in thinking about the centrality of time in our lives, our society, and our universe. Frankly, it’s about time.

What is time?
Is it the ticking clock? Seconds, minutes, hours? The calendar of days, years, millennia? That is the measurement of time, but not time itself.
Is time a fourth-dimension of space: x, y, z, t? But does that mean that NOW is equivalent to HERE: that is, relative? Is it therefore meaningless to ask about when is NOW in the Andromeda Galaxy? On Jupiter? In Colorado? Time is relative, elastic, and directionless. It is number in an equation.
Is time in our minds? Our subjective experiences of the fleeting joy of absorbing conversation; the excruciating

A question at once deceptively complex and alarming difficult to answer without engaging in circular reasoning. Time is fundamental to human consciousness -- the simple recognition that reality is thus and (then) so.