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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Philosophy & Religion Progarms

The Tehran Children: Rediscovering Iran’s Role in a Holocaust Rescue

While many Iranians know that their country sheltered Polish refugees during World War II, fewer are aware that many of these refugees were Jewish. Author Mikhal Dekel, whose father and aunt were among the nearly 1,000 Jewish children in the rescue mission, joins journalist Arash Azizi to explore why some aspects of this wartime history might be obscured.

Date of event
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 7:00 p.m.

Jewish Music: Many Languages, One Heart

What is Jewish music? In this 3-part series, the answers will surprise you as cantor and choral director Ramón Tasat leads discussions about this intriguing history, which segue into live performances. This program focuses on the history of Jewish music in Italy.

Date of event
Sunday, June 14, 2020 - 4:00 p.m.

The Greening of Religion: Ethics and the Environment

Christian churches and other world religions are increasingly incorporating environmentalism into their teachings. Ethicist and author William Barbieri explores how and why these religious traditions are responding to ecological challenges, and what we can learn from this process regarding the role of religions in the modern world.

Date of event
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Yoga for Healthy Living: Embracing Change and Transition 

Spend an absorbing day with Linda Lang, a certified yoga therapist, as she weaves together yogic practices and shares the keys for using them to face change with wisdom, grace, strength, and resilience. In addition, meet local members of the medical community who endorse and use yoga as a tool for prevention and healing.

Date of event
Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

The Sparkling Mosaics of Ravenna

No medium better embodies the glory and mystery of both Byzantine culture and Early Christian iconography than mosaics. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, surveys the fascinating history of Ravenna that shaped the city’s most recognizable artistic marvels. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Friday, August 7, 2020 - 6:30 p.m.

Michelangelo, Pope Julius, and the Sistine Chapel

When Michelangelo signed the contract with Pope Julius II in 1508 to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling, little did he know the turmoil that awaited him. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, examines the artistic importance of the ceiling and the human drama behind its creation, as well as the chapel’s history and its exquisite art produced before Michelangelo. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, August 8, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Heaven and Hell: Perspectives on the Afterlife

Bart Ehrman, a leading authority on early Christianity, examines ancient Near East, Greek, and Roman cultures, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and other sources to trace how the nature of the afterlife became a central focus in Western religion.

Date of event
Saturday, September 12, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Tracing Jewish History: From Yemen to Yorkshire

Biblical scholar and historian Gary Rendsburg leads a virtual tour across 2,000 years of known Jewish history to explore fascinating stories of less-known Jewish communities.

Date of event
Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.