Through the Devoted Efforts of his Colleagues, Prof. Ranasinghe’s Confessions of Odysseus Published Posthumously

Oct 04, 2021

Assumption University’s Department of Philosophy today announced that colleagues of Prof. Nalin Ranasinghe, Ph.D., have posthumously published his final work, The Confessions of Odysseus (St. Augustine’s Press, 2021). Claiming that “Homer’s epic is the cornerstone of Western civilization,” this work “undertakes the monumentally brash assignment of accusing man and then offering his defense, precisely as Homer does of Odysseus in the Iliad.”

Prof. Ranasinghe unexpectedly passed away while traveling from India to Boston in March 2019. Aware that he drafted a manuscript for The Confessions of Odysseus, Prof. Ranasinghe’s colleagues searched for and discovered the manuscript and sought to publish his last work. A friend, Prof. Predrag Cicovacki, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross, prepared the manuscript for publication and added a preface. 

In the preface, Prof. Cicovacki writes of Prof. Ranasinghe that he was “dedicated to friends and books.” 

“As a scholar and teacher, Prof. Ranasinghe focused upon the human soul,” said Prof. Christian Gobel, Ph.D., professor of philosophy. “As a teacher, he was driven by the Socratic passion for the care and cure of souls. His educational endeavors aimed at educating ‘ordinary people’ (such as the students entrusted to his care here at Assumption) through exposure to the great books – educating them, more precisely, by inspiring them to discover within themselves, as he writes in The Confessions of Odysseus, the ‘soul’s powers for wondering and wandering [which] can free us from falsely divinized idols.’”

Prof. Cicovacki also edited The Human Soul: Essays in Honor of Nalin Ranasinghe (Vernon Press, 2021), a compilation of essays written in Prof. Ranasinghe’s honor. Father Roger Corriveau, A.A., visiting assistant professor of theology, and Prof. Christian Gobel, professor of philosophy at Assumption University, serve as two of several contributing authors.

The Socratic quest for self-knowledge – in whose real possibility he trusted – and reflection on the positive powers of the human soul were among the main themes of Prof. Ranasinghe’s scholarship. The two volumes address both of these, The Confessions of Odysseus bringing to some kind of conclusion his study  of Socrates in three previous books , now  focusing on a Platonic reading of Homer, and The Human Soul opening new approaches to thinking about the soul.    

It is planned that proceeds from the sale of both books will benefit a scholarship his wife, Gudrun, established in Prof. Ranasinghe’s name at Assumption or establish a lecture series in his name.