Is Culture a Second Nature?

Thought on Politics, Religion, and the Middle East

A lecture by John Agresto, former president of St. John’s College



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Admission: Free and open to the public

Event Description

John Agresto will consider what stands in the way of liberty and democracy becoming universal; what historical, political, economic, and cultural preconditions there might be for the growth of liberal democracies worldwide; and what we might learn on this matter from our forays into Iraq and Afghanistan and from the “Arab Spring.”


John Agresto served as president of St. John’s College in Santa Fe from 1989 to 2000. He then  served as a Coalition Provisional Authority Senior Advisory to the Ministry to Higher Education and Scientific Research in Baghdad, an experience he drew on to write Mugged By Reality—The Liberation of Iraq and the Failure of Good Intentions (2007). He subsequently was interim provost and chancellor of The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani and then, in 2008–2009, a visiting fellow at Princeton University’s James Madison Program. Agresto holds a doctorate in political science from Cornell University and has published in the areas of politics, law and education. He lives in Santa Fe and is currently chair of the New Mexico State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.


For more information call 984-6000.