Previous Lectures


‘A Matter of Divine Contrivance’: The ‘Common Law Covenant’ in Herodotus’ History

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‘A Rich Man Who Dies Rich Dies in Disgrace’: Andrew Carnegie and ‘The Gospel of Wealth’

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As perhaps the classic embodiment of the “rags-to-riches” American Dream, Andrew Carnegie developed a well-thought-out perspective on the proper place of wealth — the getting of it, the living with it and the giving away of it — in a democracy. Indeed, Carnegie both articulated what came to be known as his “Gospel of Wealth” in numerous writings and speeches and manifested it in his life, including in his numerous charitable gifts. Through an examination of Carnegie’s works, this lecture will explore Carnegie’s perspective on wealth, with special attention to those aspects that drove Carnegie to become the father of modern philanthropy. ◊ More →


‘Even His Angels He Charges with Error’: The Hebrew Bible as a National Literature of Self-Castigation

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Although many ancient peoples created national literatures of self-glorification, the Israelites were perhaps unique in adding a large measure of self-castigation to theirs. The Hebrew Bible thus has something of a Tale of Two Cities stance toward the “chosen people” as both “the best” and “the worst” of peoples. This lecture will survey these themes in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as well as the ways they manifest themselves in the New Testament. ◊ More →


‘For He Shall Save His People from Their Sins’: The Gospel According to Matthew as Jewish Literature

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Although the Gospel According to Matthew is generally and naturally thought of as a “Christian” work, historical and literary evidence suggests that both the text’s author and intended audience may well have been Jewish. Indeed, in some ways Matthew “makes more sense” as one of the last books of the Hebrew Bible than as one of the first books of the New Testament. This lecture will survey the historical and literary contexts in which Matthew was originally produced as well as the religious contexts in which it has been subsequently read in order to consider a new thing in an old light. ◊ More →


‘It Can’t Happen Here’? A (Frightening) Look at American Dystopias

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Although a long line of American authors have written about the United States in positive and even utopian terms, others have written about a darker place, even imagining a dystopian America. For example, in 1935 Sinclair Lewis published a novel depicting a fascist dictatorial takeover of the United States along the lines of Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany. For many the very notion of an “American dictatorship” is a contradiction in terms and thus too absurd to merit serious consideration: America is often believed to be self-evidently “exceptional” and thus immune to ills that can befall other nations. As Lewis’s title somewhat mockingly put it: It Can’t Happen Here. This lecture surveys several 20th-century works whose authors thought that political evil can indeed “happen here” and that Americans ought to be vigilantly on their guard against “it.” ◊ More →


‘The Great Conversation’ at Chicago: The First 125 Years

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Chicago — both the city and the university — is arguably the “Great Books Capital of the World”, having developed and disseminated a concept (“The Great Conversation”) and a technique (“The Socratic Method”) that briefly took America by storm in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and even now continues as a flourishing sub-culture. As part of the celebration of the 125th anniversary of founding of the University of Chicago in 1890, this lecture will survey Chicago’s Great Books history and place it within the larger context of the University of Chicago’s enduring adult liberal education mission.

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‘The Holy Trible’: The Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Qur’an as an Abrahamic Trilogy

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Although the three Abrahamic scriptures grew largely out of a common textual tradition, with the exception of the paired “Old and New Testaments” they are rarely read together. The lecture, however, will argue that reading the Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Qur’an together as an “Abrahamic Trilogy” facilitates both a better understanding of each scripture on its own as well as of the relationships between and among them.  These deeper understandings, in turn, can enable us to better understand our own religious traditions as well as those of our neighbors. ◊ More →


‘The Triple Pillar of the World Transformed into A Strumpet’s Fool’: Duty and Desire in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra

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‘Twin Sons of Different Mothers’: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Historical Perspective

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Despite occasional claims to the contrary, the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians (or, more generally, between Jews and Arabs or even between Jews and Muslims) is not ancient in origin. Rather, it is the modern product of the rise of conflicting Jewish and Palestinian nationalisms. In this absorbing presentation, Adam Rose will take you back in time to the origins of this modern conflict as he discusses the history of the region and traces the development of various forms of Jewish and Arab nationalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You’ll be fascinated as Mr. Rose chronicles the major events in the conflict and presents different interpretations of “what happened and why.” And you’ll gain greater insights into the 1990s peace process that was supposed to end the conflict as Rose discusses what went wrong and how it led to the subsequent intifadas, as well as the state of the conflict today. If you’ve ever wished you had a clearer understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this is one lecture you won’t want to miss. ◊ More →


‘We Must Not Be Afraid To Be Free’: The Trials of George Anastaplo

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George Anastaplo (1925-2014) has long been a legend for his decade-long Cold War fight against the State of Illinois’s refusal to admit the young World-War-II veteran to the practice of law on the basis of Anastaplo’s assertion of fundamental rights he believed enshrined in the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. This lecture will combine a review of Anastaplo’s case (from its obscure 1950 Chicago beginning through its famous 1961 U.S. Supreme Court culmination) with a survey of Anastaplo’s understanding of the constitutions of the United States in an attempt to illuminate both the man and the myth.
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The Apology: Socrates’ Defense, Or the Gospel According to Plato

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Because the West has long thought of itself as the fusion of Greek “reason” and Hebrew (Judeo-Christian) “faith”, the secularization which followed the Enlightenment has typically been seen as the West’s disavowal of its Hebrew heritage in favor of its Greek one. Indeed, it is not uncommon today for modem secular humanists and classical Greeks to be considered much of a muchness. Unfortunately, such a view tends to blind us to important features of Greek life, even in figures as seemingly familiar to us as Socrates and Plato. A careful consideration of Plato’s Apology, however, can help resurrect these religious features of these two men who can be seen in many ways as not dissimilar to a range of Hebrew religious figures including, perhaps most strikingly, Jesus and Paul respectively. ◊ More →


Aeneas Gets an Epic: Virgil’s Aeneid and the Invention of the ‘Greco-Roman’ World

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Both in its conception and in its execution, Virgil’s Roman epic the Aeneid is intimately dependent upon Homer’s Greek epics the Iliad and the Odyssey.  Indeed Virgil goes out of his way to both imitate Homer’s poems and to connect his story with Homer’s stories.  This lecture will explore the various relationships between Virgil’s work and Homer’s works in order to better understand both the Aeneid as a work of literature and Virgil’s cultural project to portray Rome as an integral part of the classical Greek world. ◊ More →


Agent in Athens, Patient in Jerusalem: The Cosmic (Sense of) Self in Ancient Greek and Judaic Cultures

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One of the great insights of the modern era is that notions of what a “person” is, as well as notions about the “cosmos” those persons inhabit, vary from culture to culture. Indeed the two are linked. In this talk, we will explore the interconnections between cultural notions of “self’ and “cosmos” by considering the cases of ancient Greek culture on the one hand and ancient Judaic culture on the other. In each case, notions of creation were correlated with notions of the cosmos that in turn were correlated with notions of the nature of man and the nature of wisdom. In Athens, the cosmic (sense of) self was that of a cosmic agent, while in Jerusalem it was that of a cosmic patient. ◊ More →


An ‘Is’ and ‘Ought’ of Developmental Psychology: Toward a Scientific Study of Human Ontogeny

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This paper is an attempt to weave an account of developmental psychology that is alternately descriptive and normative.  In the descriptive mode it takes the discipline as data for which it seeks an explanation.  In the normative mode, it takes the discipline as an enterprise for which it seeks optimal goals, theories and methodologies.  Descriptive, it is anthropological, examining a Western sociocultural artifact.  Normative, it is psychological, participating in a scientific undertaking to systematically study human ontogeny.  Descriptive, it is on the outside looking in; normative, it is on the inside looking out.  Collectively this paper claims that developmental psychology neither is what it says it is nor what it ought to be and asks: What is this project called “developmental psychology” and how ought it best be conducted? ◊ More →


Bringing the Heroic Home: The Odyssey as Homer’s Guide to Being a Mensch

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Divided by a Common Ancestor: The Multiple Meanings of Abraham in Christian, Jewish and Muslim Scripture

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DuBois’s ‘Talented Tenth’: Socrates Meets ‘The Negro Problem’

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East is East and West is West? The Bible as an ‘Asian Classic’

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Despite its Eastern origins, the Bible is widely accepted as a foundational text of Western civilization. This lecture will uncover the Eastern roots of a “Western” classic and challenge common misconceptions about the Bible. What are the underlying assumptions that cause people to think of the Bible as a “Western” work? What problems do these assumptions create when we seek to understand the Bible and other texts related to it, such as the Qur’an? This lecture is an opportunity to explore a familiar text from a fresh perspective. ◊ More →


Epic of Id, Epic of Superego: A Freudian Reading of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey

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Although the Iliad and Odyssey are often understood as two parts of a single larger story that manifests a single, coherent “heroic” worldview, an alternative perspective sees the Odyssey as essentially a repudiation of, and replacement for, the values of the Iliad. Indeed, from this point of view the Odyssey is often seen as standing in relation to the Iliad much as the New Testament is often seen as standing in relation to the Hebrew Bible.  This alternative perspective can be deepened by analyzing the two epics using Freud’s theory of the tri-partite psyche (a process that Freud himself often employed  when interpreting classic literature and other works of art). From this Freudian perspective, the Odyssey appears as the epic celebration of the hero of the superego (Odysseus) that repudiates and supersedes the Iliad, the epic celebration of the hero of the id (Achilles).
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Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans as Native(,) American Tragedy

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Although American political independence is traditionally considered to have been achieved on July 4, 1776, the formation of a distinct American national identity took considerably longer than one day. Indeed, for many years after the successful conclusion of the American Revolution, American intellectuals of all kinds worked hard to forge the “new American”. James Fenimore Cooper was one such intellectual and The Last of the Mohicans the product of such work. In this talk we will explore the ways in which Fenimore Cooper’s work of historical fiction — it was published in 1826 and subtitled “A Narrative of 1757” — participated in the shaping of an emerging American identity. We will also consider the ways in which it continues to influence the notion of “Americanness.” ◊ More →


Fighting Theater with Theater: Plato’s Dialogues as Philosophical Dramas

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“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
               – Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality

“There is another art which imitates by means of language alone, and that either in prose or verse … but this has hitherto been without a name.  For there is no common term we could apply to the mimes of Sophron and Xenarchus and the Socratic dialogues on the one hand; and, on the other, to poetic imitations in iambic, elegiac, or any similar meter.”
                      – Aristotle, Poetics 1447a27-1447b12

Although there is an ancient and venerable tradition of reading Plato’s Socratic Dialogues as “philosophy” to be analyzed primarily (if not only) in terms of their logical propositions, there is an even older (although today, much less venerable) tradition of reading the Plato’s Dialogues as dramas that embody a certain type of philosophical activity. In this lecture, we will consider what it means to take a “dramatic approach” to the Dialogues and explore some of the insights into Plato’s work that such an approach can yield. In particular we will consider that it means to think of Plato primarily as the revolutionary successor to Homer rather than primarily as the evolutionary successor to Socrates. Or rather, how it is best to think of Plato as the incomparable union of the two, fostering “Better Souls Through Better Shadows”. ◊ More →


From Judah-ism to Judaism and Back Again: Jewish Religious and Political Claims to the ‘Land of Israel’

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From the Ashes of the Second Temple: The Co-Evolution of Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity

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No information available.
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Group Therapy with Great Books: On the Remaking of Adults through Lifelong Liberal Re-Education

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Over the 70 years since 1946, the University of Chicago Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults has provided opportunities for intellectually curious adults to read and discuss selected “great books” under the guidance of staff instructors. Why? And why have intellectually curious adults continued to take advantage of these opportunities? In this lecture, I will attempt to answer these and related questions as part of a general reflection on the ends and means of lifelong liberal learning, drawing upon my own 20+ years of experience as a Basic Program instructor along with ideas as old and distant as Socrates’ and as recent and near as those of the late University of Chicago professor Herman Sinaiko. My starting point will be a 1958 observation by Warren Winiarski, then a Basic Program staff instructor, that in the Basic Program:
“[W]e re-open the universal problems and questions, and thus call into question the particular and specific answers which constitute the adultness of adults; we unmake adults — we make adults into children. Adult education of this kind is not a continuing of their education; it is the possibility of their being re-educated. For to be educated in this way means, in so far as the principles, answers and beliefs constitutive of adultness are questioned — to be de-educated or to unlearn what we learned before.”
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Historic Compromise of the Moderates: The Geneva Accord and the Endgame to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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History in War and Peace; War and Peace in History

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Living Well in Hard Times; Or, Why Liberal Education is Not a Luxury

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In tough economic times, people naturally cut back on “non-essentials,” the little “luxuries” in life they can do without until better times return. For many people, these cuts include “culture” in general and “liberal education” in particular. After all, “great books” and “deep thoughts” don’t pay the rent or put food on the table. This lecture, however, will explore the contrary thesis: that it is precisely in hard times that liberal education is most essential, and “great books” and “deep thoughts” are most valuable — when “living well” most depends upon “living smart.” ◊ More →


Of Hanukkah and Holy War: The Clash of Hellenism and Judaism in 1 & 2 Maccabees

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Although the spread of Greek culture that followed Alexander the Great’s conquests is often considered one of the great steps forward in world civilization, not everyone has thought so.  Indeed for many traditional Jews  of the time,  Hellenism was a great pagan enemy of the God of Israel.  This lecture will explore the holy war against Hellenism depicted in the First and Second Books of the Maccabees that cured the desecration of the Jerusalem temple through the rededication of the House of God in 165 BCE — an event memorialized in the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. ◊ More →


On the Cutting Room Floor: Books that Didn’t Make It into the Bible

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Despite our habit of talking about it in the singular, “the Bible” is an anthology of many books from different times and places. But not every book that could have made it into the Bible did so. This lecture will survey the processes by which the biblical anthology was put together and explore some of the books that were left “on the cutting room floor.” ◊ More →


On the Transvaluation of Viking Values: Nietzsche Reads Beowulf

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In his Genealogy of Morals, Friedrich Nietzsche traces what he calls the “slave revolt in morality”, an episode of the “transvaluation of values” in which Western notions of “right” and “wrong” were inverted. As a consequence, the “master morality” of the Greco-Roman world (embodied in its epics) was replaced by the “slave morality” of Judeo-Christian world (embodied in its scriptures) and what was formerly “good” became “evil” and what was formerly “bad” became “good”. This lecture will apply Nietzsche’s paradigm to Beowulf — arguably a “Christian Viking” work about the “pagan Viking” past — in an effort both to better understand the poetic significance of the life and death of the great hero Beowulf and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of Nietzsche’s theory. ◊ More →


Online Socratic Method Seminars in Adult Congregation Education: A Look at Today’s Realities and Possibilities

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For most of its history, “distance education” meant correspondence courses in which teachers’ lessons and students’ responses (if any) were transmitted by surface mail. With the development of the Internet, however, it is now possible for individuals who are separated physically to come together intellectually in shared virtual learning environments — including virtual environments that are beginning to support the most “high touch” learning of all: “Socratic Method” seminars structured to facilitate students’ critical, collaborative, first-hand engagement with classic texts. After providing a brief overview of distance education in general and contemporary online learning environments in particular, this lecture will examine the realities and possibilities of online Socratic Method seminars today and consider the contributions that such seminars might make to adult congregation education. ◊ More →


Rewriting the Bible without Changing a Word: A Look at the Talmud

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Self-Evident Truths? Origin Myths and the Founding of America

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Every people has stories that it tells about itself-stories about where it comes from, about its place in the universe, about its essential characteristics. Indeed, one of the key functions of “culture” is to impress these stories on each succeeding generation. When successful, this process makes these stories so “obvious” to insiders as to be self-evidently true (despite the fact that these same stories remain self-evidently dubious to outsiders). In these respects, the American people and American culture are no different than any others. From the beginning, Americans have constructed stories —political, historical, literary — as a way of defining themselves and their place in the world and thus as a way of shaping their destiny. A look at works as diverse as The Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, The Scarlet Letter, The Gettysburg Address, and “Paul Revere’s Ride,” can illustrate this phenomenon and help us temporarily stand outside ourselves as we seek a better understanding of who we truly are. ◊ More →


Shakespeare’s ‘Letter to the Romans’: ‘Anti-Judaism’ (Not ‘Anti-Semitism’) in The Merchant of Venice

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Although The Merchant of Venice is today often perceived as “anti-Semitic”, a careful consideration of both the play and the label suggests that this is not so. Rather, Shakespeare’s play dramatizes both a critique of “legalistic Judaism” similar to the one made by Paul (who arguably lived and died a Jew) in his “Letter to the Romans” and an exaltation of “graceful Christianity”. As such, The Merchant of Venice can be properly understood as the “anti-Judaic comedy of Antonio” rather than as the “anti-Semitic tragedy of Shylock”. ◊ More →


Somebody Killed Something: Ambiguous Hero and Beast in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’

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Since its publication in 1871 as part of Through the Looking-glass, Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” has become one of the quintessential examples of “nonsense poetry” in the English language.  Such a classification largely reflects the poem’s apparent non-referentiality when set against the background of a theory of language that claims unambiguous reference as the sole (or at least, highest) goal of language use.  Since Carroll used a number of words that appeared to have “no sense”, and hence no referents, “Jabberwocky” as a whole appeared to be not fully “meaningful”, and hence not fully referential — i.e. the poem appeared to be “nonsense”. ◊ More →


Speaking of Zarathustra …

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Written between 1883 and 1885, Thus Spoke Zarathustra is perhaps Friedrich Nietzsche’s best-known and most-read work. Yet it may not be his best. For despite the fact that Nietzsche was a mature man of about 40 when he wrote the work, Zarathustra often seems to have an adolescent tone — a tone that does nothing to advance the argument and indeed often seems to detract from it. In this talk, we will attempt to understand both Nietzsche’s argument and his style in this famous — and to some infamous — rant against the Victorian world view. ◊ More →


Strategies for ‘Negro Advancement’: Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery vs. W.E.B. DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk

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Although often pigeonholed as “African-American intellectuals”, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois thought deeply about the nature of man and America when developing their programs for “Negro advancement”. This lecture will examine their analyses and conclusions as reflected in their two best-known works, Up from Slavery and The Souls of Black Folk, as well as consider how and why they arrived at what are often understood as diametrically-opposed and mutually-exclusive perspectives and programs — for African-Americans in particular and human beings in general ◊ More →


The Basic Program at Fifty

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The Book of Job and the Invention of Faith

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This lecture will explore how the Book of Job transforms the Hebrew Bible’s concept of God (from a large-but-finite and explicable deity to an infinite and fundamentally inexplicable one) and therefore, the proper behavior of both humans and God in the relationship they share and the possibility of a covenant between them. ◊ More →


The Content of Our Character: Lessons from Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume One

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Besides being an object of general intellectual curiosity, the decline and fall of the ancient Roman Empire has long held a special fascination for those concerned with the health and well-being of a subsequent empire. After all, if the later empire could understand the mistakes of the former one, perhaps they — and the attendant imperial decline — could be avoided. Edward Gibbon, who wrote his monumental, six-volume History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as the British Empire was arising and the American Empire was aborning, certainly seems to have thought so. This lecture will survey Gibbon’s account of “the beginning of the end” for Rome as told in volume one of his work, with special attention to the lessons Gibbon believed he had gleaned from that pivotal period — most of which deal with a perceived decline and fall of the Roman national character.
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The Ends of Beginnings: A Look at Some of the Functions of Genesis

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The Gospel According to Muhammad: The Qur’an’s Account of Jesus as a Non-Canonical Gospel

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Although a relatively late Abrahamic scripture, the Qur’an has quite a bit to say about figures and events in the Abrahamic tradition that preceded it and that Islam understands itself to be built upon. Among other things, the Qur’an contains within it an account of Jesus’ life and mission that in some sense amounts to yet another “gospel”. This lecture will present an introduction to this “Gospel According to Muhammad” and consider the Qur’anic version of the Jesus story in comparison with New Testamental versions of the story as well as with several non-canonical “Christian” versions. ◊ More →


The Great Books Capital of America: The Role of Chicago in the Great Books Movement

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Although the partisans of the great books have always emphasized the universal and timeless aspects of the great books, the emergence of “great books” as a widely recognizable concept is an American cultural phenomenon centered on the particular time and place of mid-20th-century Chicago.  Despite roots in New York and beyond as well as branches around the country and now around the world, the great books movement achieved critical mass in Chicago with which it has been and continues to be identified. ◊ More →


The Koran: The Word of God Returns

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For most Western readers, the Koran is a deceptive text and thus difficult to appreciate. Its characterization as yet another “scripture” from the Semitic tradition that spawned the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament — with the “same” God and many of the “same” figures — naturally leads one to approach it with the same implicit assumptions and expectations that one typically brings to the Bible. Yet the Western reader who does so is likely to disappointed — even outraged — as these assumptions and expectations are violated and this characterization made questionable. Racial, ethnic and/or religious prejudices often deepen the displeasure. Alternately, Western readers who approach the Koran with a keen awareness of its (and their own) historical/cultural foundations are more likely to enjoy (and profit from) their encounter with it.

This lecture will demonstrate one way in which a modern Westerner can successfully read the Koran. On the one hand, we will make a survey of the text: its structure and major themes and the conditions which produced it. On the other hand, we will look at some of the strategies through which a reader can transcend limitations imposed by his own cultural heritage. By working both tracks simultaneously, one can fairly easily come to appreciate this classic text on its own terms. ◊ More →


The Many Meanings of Meekness; Or, Taking the ‘Uncle Tom’ Out of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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Despite the fact that “Uncle Tom” has become a negative cultural stereotype connoting a Black who is abjectly servile to Whites, a close reading of Uncle Tom’s Cabin suggests that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom was no “Uncle Tom”. Indeed, imposing such a characterization on the novel’s protagonist undermines one of the central messages of the book. This lecture will examine the novel and the history of its interpretation as a means of deriving a fair reading of both the text and its key character. ◊ More →


The Scientific Construction of Developmental Norms

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Although the notion of a dialectical (or reciprocal) relationship between psychology and culture has been nominally acknowledged for over a generation, it is only recently and tentatively that the study of developmental norms has begun to be shaped by this fact.  This paper presents a theoretical outline of this relationship and the resulting need for a self-conscious (or reflexive) study of developmental norms. ◊ More →


The State(s) of the Union: Evolving Notions of ‘Nation’ in America’s Founding Documents

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Although there is a long tradition of projecting contemporary understandings of the American polity back onto its beginnings, a close examination of America’s “Founding Documents” reveals a range of notions about the nature of “America”. This lecture will survey some of the key documents and notions in an attempt to understand the documents themselves, the evolution of the concept of “America” and the vestiges of these various notions that survive to this day. ◊ More →


To the End of the Earth and Back Again; Or, Whose Odyssey is It Anyway?

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Traditional accounts of Homer’s Odyssey often focus on the “facts” that it: 1) it is a “sequel” to the Iliad — and thus 2) the second great (and second greatest) work of Western “literature” — which 3) tells the story of Odysseus’s ten-year homecoming from the Trojan War, although it 4) begins “in media res” (in the middle of things) with the problem of the suitors on Ithaca and Odysseus’s captivity with Calypso, rather than at “the beginning” with the fall of Troy. Indeed, many a reader’s experience with, and understanding of, the Odyssey is crucially influenced by their expectation that the text will conform to thes “facts”. But is this the most useful way of approaching this important work?

 In this lecture, I will outline some of the consequences of reading the Odyssey with these expectations in mind and why these expectations may be unwarranted. Most importantly, however, I will suggest how an approach to the text as a stand-alone work can yield a significant and perhaps unexpected reading that is both more personal and more profound than traditional ones. ◊ More →


Universal Monotheism and Its Others in the Late Second Temple Period

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Was Moses an Egyptian? Freud’s Account in Moses and Monotheism

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Words at War: Rhetoric as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

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You Say ‘Yahweh’, I Say ‘The LORD’; Or, Why God by Any Other Name Ain’t

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While the gods (and goddesses) in most religious systems have personal names (think: Zeus, Jupiter, Athena, Mars, etc.), many people think that the god of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament does not — that “He” is simply “God” or “The LORD”. The truth, however, is more complex and subtle. This lecture will survey the evolution of the name(s) of the god(s) of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament as well as explore the philosophical implications of deity naming (and non-naming). ◊ More →


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