Inquisitive Minds Podcast Critical Thinking on History, Religion, Politics and Culture

This week again, we continue with our topic on "Assaulting Cultural Heritage: ISIS's Fight to Destroy Diversity in Iraq and Syria." A conference on this theme was organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) and held at Concordia University on September 25-26, 2016. This episode focuses on the Christian tradition and notes some of the recent destructive actions brought about by ISIS from a comparative perspective. We end with a few words on the shared apocalyptic worldview embraced by some religious extremist groups.

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In this third episode dedicated to Tim Whitmarsh's book, Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World, we review his section on the Hellenistic Era where kings were sometimes worshiped as "gods". Some philosophers, however, were skeptical of such ideas and adopted an agnostic position toward the existence of gods. Epicureans, on the other hand,believed in gods but not in their involvement in the world, and since the gods were different in matter and not part of this world, they even thought that there existed a plurality of universes; a concept similar to what is now referred to as "multiverse".


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In this episode, we continue last week's discussion on the possible connections between Homer and the gospels. We also look at how several Hebrew Bible stories were imitated by the writers of the story of Jesus. Some of the examples discussed are taken from MacDonald's recent book on imitations of Greek epic in Mark and the works of Luke-Acts.

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February 2, 2015  
The idea that the gospel writers imitated ancient classical texts has been explored by several authors. D.R. MacDonald has written a book explaining how the New Testament gospels were the product of mimesis, and that Homer's Iliad and Odyssey served as foundational texts from which the writers build their own stories of Jesus. In the podcast we explore mimetic criticism and offer an assessment of MacDonald's hypothesis and criteria used in the study of ancient religious texts.

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