What do we need in violent times? Stronger weapons systems? Better intelligence so that we can root out threats before they arise? A more robust police force or rules for governing its use? Emily Katz Anhalt, who teaches classical languages and literatures at Sarah Lawrence College, believes we need stories. And not just any stories — ancient Greek myths. We talked with Professor Anhalt about her book Enraged: Why Violent Times Need Ancient Greek Myths, published in 2017 by Yale University Press. How do ancient Greek myths teach us about the consequences of rage, especially in society? What do they tell us about how to remove ourselves from feelings and situations of rage, or how to channel rage more productively? And how can they help us empathize with those who we perceive as our opponents, those who perhaps stoke our rage?
Interview by Matthew Wickman, Founding Director, BYU Humanities Center