Religion talks in London

Sep
9
Mon
A History of Christian and Muslim Intolerance and Beyond
Sep 9 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
A History of Christian and Muslim Intolerance and Beyond @ Conway Hall

AC Grayling discusses with Selina O’Grady her ground-breaking new book In the Name of God: A History of Christian and Muslim Intolerance. Told through contemporary chronicles, stories and poems, Selina O’Grady explores the intertwined histories of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish persecutors and persecuted.

From Umar, the seventh century Islamic caliph who laid down the rules for the treatment of religious minorities in what was becoming the greatest empire the world has ever known, to Magna Carta John who seriously considered converting to Islam; and from al-Wahaabi, whose own brother thought he was illiterate and fanatical, but who created the religious-military alliance with the house of Saud that still survives today, to Europe’s bloody Thirty Years war that wearied Europe of murderous inter-Christian violence but probably killed God in the process.

Each faith has been thought of as intolerant and inherently violent; ossified religions that can never come to terms with the Enlightenment. How right or wrong are these assumptions? Selina O’Grady and AC Grayling asks how and why our societies came to be as tolerant or intolerant as they are? Whether tolerance can be expected to heal today’s festering wound between Islam and the post-Christian West? Or whether something deeper than tolerance is needed.

Told through contemporary chronicles, stories and poems, Selina O’Grady takes the reader through the intertwined histories of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish persecutors and persecuted. From Umar, the seventh century Islamic caliph who laid down the rules for the treatment of religious minorities in what was becoming the greatest empire the world has ever known, to Magna Carta John who seriously considered converting to Islam; and from al-Wahaabi, whose own brother thought he was illiterate and fanatical, but who created the religious-military alliance with the house of Saud that still survives today, to Europe’s bloody Thirty Years war that wearied Europe of murderous inter-Christian violence but probably killed God in the process.

In the Name of God: A History of Christian and Muslim Intolerance will be available on the night to purchase and have signed.

Sep
24
Tue
The Course/Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 1/10
Sep 24 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course/Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 1/10 @ The University Womens Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

 

Introduction and the Court Artist

Why the arts? What is a Prince? Were they all leaders of taste? We begin by exploring some of the key themes and figures of this series before moving on to examine the qualities, experience and identity of the “court artist”.

Sep
26
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: the Life of the Universal Man 1/10
Sep 26 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: the Life of the Universal Man 1/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Beginnings, Schooling And Influences

We will look at the unconventional circumstances surrounding the birth of Leonardo, his family background, his father’s profession and how that impacted on Leonardo’s early education. We will examine his early training in the Florentine workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio; look closely at the latter’s techniques and working practices, the students who passed through this workshop and what possible impact all this may have had on the future development of Leonardo’s art. We will end with his departure from the Verrocchio workshop.

Oct
2
Wed
Witchcraft and the Law in England (w/ Deborah Hyde @jourdemayne)
Oct 2 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The legal approach to witchcraft in England changed considerably over the course of 700 years, reflecting the philosophy, power struggles and politics of each era. At first deprecated as an ignorant superstition, belief in the power of witchcraft eventually became established – even among the most educated.

Deborah Hyde has been Editor-in-Chief of The Skeptic Magazine for over five years. She speaks regularly at conventions, on podcasts and on international broadcast media about why people believe in the supernatural – especially the malign supernatural – using a combination of history and psychology. She thinks that superstition and religion are natural – albeit not ideal – ways of looking at the world.

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

 

Oct
3
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: the Life of the Universal Man 2/10
Oct 3 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: the Life of the Universal Man 2/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Masters At Work: Techniques And Mediums

We will examine Leonardo’s decisions behind his choice of techniques and mediums, including his use of metal point, black chalk, red chalk, pen and ink and wash, and his early use of oil paint. We will look at exquisite examples of all these, asking what were their uses and how they would affect Leonardo’s choices.

Oct
10
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 3/10
Oct 10 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 3/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Sculpture And The World Of The Antique

Although no sculptures by Leonardo exist, we will examine his influences from the antique world, his sculptural design ideas and how they would play into the narrative of the Renaissance aesthetic. We will also consider the drawings that were made to demonstrate how he might have constructed these artworks.

Oct
15
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 4/10
Oct 15 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 4/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

Poets and Soldiers

The d’Este rulers of Ferrara created an environment of taste and magnificence, brick and marble, of the finest paintings, in a city which they made a model of early urban planning and is now a Unesco World Heritage site. Much of their collections is now dispersed, but we will consider their impact as well as that of the sculpture, architecture and painting which remain. In contrast, the Sforza of Milan were terrifying warlords but also commissioned some of Leonardo’s finest work during his 18 years at their court.

Oct
17
Thu
The Course / Leonard da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 4/10
Oct 17 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonard da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 4/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

The Art And The Meaning Of Portraiture

We will look at Leonardo’s interest in portraiture; his own image and what that might tell us about the man as well as portraits of ruling families, including La Giocondo or Lisa Gherardini, now known as the Mona Lisa. We will also examine his obsession with the Madonna and child grouping, his sources for these compositions and what he hoped to achieve with his constant revisiting of this subject.

Oct
22
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 5/10
Oct 22 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 5/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

Smoke and Mirrors

Mantua, small and muddy, was one of the least powerful of Italian city states but through extraordinary and judicious patronage of the arts, the Gonzaga dynasty presented itself as the equal of all contemporaries. Alberti in architecture, Pisanello and Mantegna in painting created an image of splendour which made the city the envy of its contemporaries.

Oct
24
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 5/10
Oct 24 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 5/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Inside The Mind Of Man – Grotesques, Personality & Caricature

Leonardo’s mind and its supposed impact on physiognomy and ultimately personality will be the subject for this session. We will look at a wide variety of his drawings of physiological types and ask if these can tell us about the social mores of Leonardo’s times and ultimately how the explorations into the human psyche affected Leonardo’s finished works such as The Last Supper.

Oct
31
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of a Universal Man 6/10
Oct 31 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of a Universal Man 6/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Obsession With Nature, Anatomical & Experiment

Leonardo was obsessed with how everything worked and the close relationship between man and nature. Here, we will look at his exploration of the workings of nature and his attempt to understand these processes and thus understand the soul of man. We will look at examples of anatomical drawings that demonstrate Leonardo’s unflinching eye and ability to investigate areas of human anatomy that many would find repulsive.

Nov
5
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 7/10
Nov 5 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 7/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

A “Restive and Independent City”

Florence was a proud Republic, so the position of the Medici family was equivocal. Officially “first among equals”, they trod a fine line in asserting their rule without alienating the democratic rhetoric of the state, and their discerning and generous commissions to some of the greatest creative figures of the age were calculated to give political reassurance while subtly reminding the people of the munificence, wisdom and virtue of the first family.

Nov
7
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 7/10
Nov 7 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 7/10 @ The Course at the University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Drawing Becomes Art

The emergence of drawing as an art form has always been hard to pinpoint. In this lecture, we will look at Leonardo’s drawings and examine how and why this art form might be attributed to him. We will also look at the Burlington Cartoon in London’s National Gallery, its life, history and production, and ask why this unfinished work has been seen as the earliest example of drawing as art and why it holds such a special place in the Gallery’s collection.

Nov
12
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Renaissance 8/10
Nov 12 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Renaissance 8/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

Princes of the Church

Renaissance popes were not only princes of the church but rulers of vast secular domains, determined to recreate for Rome the glories of pagan antiquity. None was more remarkable than Julius II who, in a reign of barely 10 years, rebuilt a dilapidated city, commissioned Michelangelo, Raphael and Bramante, and laid the foundations of St Peter’s Basilica as we know it today.

Nov
14
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 8/10
Nov 14 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 8/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Signature Projects

We will look in detail at some of Leonardo’s major projects: the Last Supper, The Madonna of the Rock and The Battle of Cascina and discuss how these works were realised, what was the thinking behind them and how do they compare with works by his contemporaries? We will also look at the work of collaborators on these projects and ask how much is theirs and how much Leonardo’s and why do we care?

 

Nov
19
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 9/10
Nov 19 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 9/10 @ The Course at the University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

Merchants, Monks and Guilds

The patronage of princes inspired others. Wealthy urbanites and the Church, individuals and groups, increasingly used art to confirm their commitment to Renaissance values of piety, charity and scholarship.

Nov
26
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 10/10
Nov 26 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 10/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

Influence

Italy created the model in which connoisseurship became the distinguishing mark of the enlightened and refined ruler. From Krakow to London, monarchs presented themselves through their patronage of the arts, the forms taken from Italy and often executed by artists from the peninsula itself, responsible for spreading the vocabulary of classicism and power across the European courts.