French philosopher and cultural historian Michel Foucault’s radical approach to the power, knowledge, and subjectivity destabilized rigid distinctions between the individual and discursive structures, and it anticipated a new form of "bio-politics." These approaches have been broadly influential across the humanities, cultural studies, and social theory. Foucault’s later work on care of the self was devoted to understanding philosophy as a way of life, a spiritual exercise, and a practice of freedom. This work opens up new ways of thinking about ancient philosophy and religious life which is increasingly important for religious studies. This seminar is devoted to a close reading of Foucault’s work. Authors we discuss beyond Foucault include Plato, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Pierre Hadot.