Religious Fundamentalisms and University Reading

By teaching people to read texts responsibly, religious communities and universities are addressing the pressing issue of religious fundamentalism and violence.
  • Paul Burns, Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies
    Coach House, Green College, UBC

    Tuesday, November 15, 5-6:30 pm, reception to follow
    in the series
    Senior Scholars' Series: The Passions that Drive Academic Life
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  • Fundamentalism of any religious persuasion promotes its agenda with a very selective reading and application of its foundational texts. As a child I grew up in Southern Ontario which at the time was beset with Irish Catholic and Protestant tribalism. The exciting developments of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), called by Pope John XXIII, helped to reconfigure the Catholic and Protestant relationship and certainly had a constructive impact on the study of Christian Theology while I was at the University of Toronto. From there I went on to Oxford to study major Christian thinkers of the fourth century, such as Augustine of Hippo. I was particularly impressed by his comprehensive grasp of Roman literature. Although he could be critical of certain themes, he retained a respect for that literary culture. In a famous passage in his Confessions, his mother Monica complains to a cleric that her son was preoccupied by the teachings and community of the Manichees. Monica tried to get the cleric to intervene to lead him to Catholicism. The cleric declined and said, “by his reading he will find his way.” Augustine writing as a bishop commented that that was wise advice.

    At the time Augustine was reading Cicero and Stoic astronomy. I would like to outline how Augustine reads some examples of Roman culture: poetry, science, history, philosophy and religion and then conclude with a reference to current research on his biblical exegesis. I have found this to be a rewarding area of research, one that has informed my many years of interdisciplinary teaching here at the University of British Columbia.

    By teaching people to read texts responsibly, religious communities and universities are addressing the pressing issue of religious fundamentalism and violence.
     
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  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.

 

When
November 15th, 2016 5:00 PM   through   3:30 PM
Location
Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Rd
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada
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Speaker Series Senior Scholars' Series: The Passions that Drive Academic Life
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Speaker (new) Paul Burns, Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies
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