Mick and St Augustine?

Interesting item from the Boston College Chronicle:

What does the music of the Rolling Stones have in common with St. Augustine’s notions of evil?

Plenty, say Carroll School of Management junior Michael Barilli and Stephanie St. Martin ’07, MA ’10, who teamed up to write a chapter analyzing the famed Stones’ hit, “Sympathy for the Devil,” that will be included in a recently published book, The Rolling Stones and Philosophy: It’s Just a Thought Away.

Barilli, a music aficionado who plays the drums and was a member of several local rock bands on Long Island, NY, was a freshman in Adjunct Associate Professor Brian Braman’s Perspectives class two years ago when he met St. Martin, holder of the University’s Bernard Lonergan, SJ, Scholarship for graduate study in philosophy and a teaching assistant for Braman.

Barilli had assisted in the compilation of a song list for a class project on music and philosophy, and when St. Martin received a call for papers for the proposed philosophy book on the meaning of the famed rock group’s lyrics, she engaged the multi-talented undergraduate as co-author.

“Basically, ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ is St. Augustine’s notion of evil juxtaposed over the song,” Barilli explains. “He talks a lot about how the devil is not always there for all human atrocities — so it’s saying ‘Who is to blame here? Is it mankind or is it the devil?’ It was pretty interesting. A lot of people who take Perspectives may be a little skeptical about practical applications of philosophy. Music is a good way to get people to realize that it is still relevant.”

St. Martin, currently teaching a philosophy course at Middlesex Community College, says, “The amount of work that Michael did on this was just tremendous. He even thought of including some Socrates at the end of the chapter. In ‘Apologies,’ Socrates makes charges of not believing in God, corrupting youth and becoming sophists – people who argue for the sake of arguing, but have no real point. That is eerily similar to what the Stones are saying. I thought it was a stroke of genius for Michael to include that.”

… hmmm, I thought I had something else ‘classical’ about Keith Richards posted somewhere, but it’s not turning up. Stay tuned …

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