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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Philosophy & Religion Progarms

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, October 2, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Aristotle’s The Nicomachean Ethics is one of the most influential works on human happiness ever written. Philosophy scholar Michael Gorman examines this seminal treatise on practical wisdom and its lasting influence on Western thinking about living one’s best life ethically.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

What was it like to be a Jewish citizen in Venice between their settlement there in the 16th century to the end of World War II? From the beginning, the rules that governed Jewish life in the ghetto—a Venetian word—contrasted greatly with those outside the quarter. Historian Monica Chojnacka highlights the complicated history of the Venetian Jews and places it in the context of greater European history.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Pure Land Buddhism—the most popular of the Buddhist traditions in the East—remains  surprisingly unknown in the West. For a closer look at its thought and practice, join Charles B. Jones, professor of religion at the Catholic University of America, who traces the practice’s history and shares some of the features and goals of this prevalent form of Buddhism.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, November 13, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

For nearly two millennia, Augustine’s arguments, insights, and ideas on faith have profoundly shaped the Western intellectual tradition. Augustine scholar Scott MacDonald explores some of those enduringly compelling ideas.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago and has become a part of the lives of many millions around the globe. Comparative religion scholar and yogi Graham M. Schweig examines the many facets of the practice as he answers the most basic of questions: What is yoga?

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In the shadow of the Second World War and the looming threat of nuclear holocaust, British philosopher Bertrand Russell signaled an urgent need to recover the practice of philosophy in everyday life. Steven M. Emmanuel, dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities at Virginia Wesleyan University, examines Russell’s writings on the practical value of philosophy to find important and timely lessons for today’s turbulent and uncertain times.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Throughout the Middle Ages the vast majority of Jews lived under either Islamic rule or Christian rule. Under caliphate rule across North Africa and the Middle East, Jews flourished. In contrast, life in Christian Europe was fraught with challenges. Historian Gary Rendsburg focuses on how the Jews survived during the Middle Ages, the period that bridges their historical roots in the land of Israel and the dawn of modernity brought on by the Renaissance.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The Shroud of Turin has been an object of reverence and fascination since it surfaced in mid-14th century France. Historian Cheryl White and the Rev. Peter Mangum, noted specialists in the study of the shroud, explore the mystery of this artifact through its known history and scientific findings, as well as the current state of research and scholarship. What stories held in this cloth are yet to be told?