Christendom’s Dr. Andrew Beer recently traveled to Athens, Greece, joining other top scholars to present at an academic conference in the city. Walking in the footsteps of Socrates, St. Paul, and St. Dionysius, Beer spoke on Plato’s Gorgias, arguing about the purpose of the famed work.

Beer, the chairman of Christendom’s classical and early Christian studies department, made the journey to Athens in order to honor Daniel Devereux, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Virginia. The conference was held in honor of the professor, with scholars from the University of Sao Paulo and the University of Virginia joining Beer in Athens.

At the conference, Beer presented a paper titled “Rhetoric and Friendship in Plato’s Gorgias,” which will be later published by De Gruyter Academic Publishing as part of an edited volume in honor of Devereux. Beer’s paper digs deep into Gorgias, a work which is principally concerned with the practice of rhetoric as developed by various men known as “Sophists” in the middle of the fifth century B.C.

Beer argued in his presentation that the purpose of Plato’s Gorgias is to demonstrate the difference between two kinds of friendship which are formed through different kinds of speaking. Beer concluded that anyone who devotes his or her life to the love of wisdom is necessarily also contributing to the formation and sustaining of civic friendship and the common good.

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