Thursday, April 13, 2017

May and June Lecture Topics

Our History, Philosophy, & Theology Group will continue to meet on selected Tuesday evenings this May and June.

May 16, Tues (7 pm): The History of the End of the World. We'll look at the long history of failed predictions that the Apocalypse was imminent, from the many precursors to the Book of Revelation to its readers who continue to misinterpret the text to the present day.

May 23, Tues (7 pm): Wheel of Fortune: Philosophy after Rome Fell. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the great Latin politician and scholar Boethius was sentenced to be executed by the king of the Ostrogoths.  We'll take a look his outstanding work, "The Consolation of Philosophy," and see how one the great Western thinkers reconciled himself to the downturn of Fortune's Wheel.

May 30, Tues (7 pm): The History of Mormon Polygamy. Why did Mormons redefine the Western idea of the family in the 19th century? We'll look at the origin of the practice, why and when the mainline LDS Church abandoned polygamy, and where and how it continues among fundamentalist Mormons.

June 6, Tues (7 pm): Myths of David and Solomon. The Bible insists that David and his son Solomon ruled a unified kingdom of Israel from their capital Jerusalem, which only afterwards split into a northern kingdom (Israel) and a southern kingdom (Judah).  This was taken to be accurate history until it was disproved in recent decades by archaeologists.  We'll explore the what we can know about the actual history of ancient Israel and the historic David.

June 13, Tues (7 pm): Revisiting the Galileo Myth. The story of Galileo's trial and the banning of his work by the Pope has become a staple of the "History of Science" narrative.  We'll look at the actual history and trace the way a Protestant polemic against Catholicism came to be repurposed as a secular myth.

June 27, Tues (7 pm): Was the Apostle Paul Gay? In honour of Toronto Pride week, we'll consider evidence concerning the sexual orientation of the Apostle Paul, the second founder of Christianity.  We'll also look at what Paul has to say about the subject and how this has been misread by some Christian fundamentalists..

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