Culture and civilization are concepts that have been thrown around in our public discourse, for a long while. Some argued on the cycles of civilization, others on the endless progress of human civilization, but it is not an easy task to define what these ideas mean. Our next Budapest Lecture aims to explain what makes civilization what it is, show what we are in danger of losing in the event of a collapse, and offer a way forward that draws on the wisdom of the past. What is the nature of civilization and what makes it unique? What are the challenges civilization faces, including environmental degradation, political instability, and economic inequality? Is there a way forward that draws on the wisdom of the past, including the ideas of ancient philosophers and the lessons of history? Dive into these fascinating questions with us in a discussion with Michael R. J. Bonner the author of the recently published book ‘In Defense of Civilization: How Our Past Can Renew Our Present’.

Language: English


5.00 – 5.45 PM                Moderated discussion

·        Michael R. J. Bonner, historian, government-relations consultant, author

·        Moderator: Noémi Pálfalvi, International Director, MCC

5.45 – 6.00 PM                Q&A

Michael Bonner is a historian and government-relations consultant. He has a decade of federal and provincial political experience, having served a total of six Ministers in eight portfolios within Canadian federal and provincial governments. He read Classics and several Middle Eastern languages in undergrad, and took a master's and a doctorate in Iranian history from the University of Oxford. His previous books dealt with aspects of the history of ancient Iran, one of which is a narrative history of the Sasanian dynasty entitled The Last Empire of Iran. His most recent book is In Defense of Civilization: How Our Past Can Renew Our Present.