On March 22nd Saint Bonaventure professor Michael Chiariello gave the prestigious Ranieri Foundation lecture on Umberto Eco’s The Name Of The Rose.
What relevance does Franciscan thought presented in Umberto Eco’s medieval detective novel The Name of the Rose have for post-modern-minded American college students? Building on previous research, Dr. Michael Chiariello, explained that Eco’s protagonist, William of Baskerville, is a character only possible for a Franciscan, whose attention to logic made them rather more appropriate for detective characters than other orders. While Eco has always denied the possible relevance of his novel to the twenty-first century, Chiariello suggested that there are strong currents of hope in the book. We musn’t think that just because we cannot find absolute truth, that we cannot get closer to it. “You may not always find, but you can always look better,” says William to his literary foil Adzo.
The talk was open to the public and was held in the main hall of the Ranieri Palace, a fifteenth-century edifice in Perugia’s historic center. The Uguccione Ranieri di Sorbello Foundation seeks to promote better international relations through cultural projects like its annual lecture. Michael Chiariello, Ph.D., is a Professor of Philosophy at Saint Bonaventure University, as well as being both the founder and director of the Franciscan Heritage Program.