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

We are happy to be back with our first episode of 2017! We wish all of our listener all the best in this new year. This episode contains the third and last part of a conference given by André Gagné during the first Global Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Forum organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS). The event was held on November 16 & 17, 2016 at Concordia University.

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This is part 2 of a conference given by André Gagné during the first Global Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Forum organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS). The event was held on November 16 & 17, 2016 at Concordia University.

* Please note that our next episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast will air on January 16th, 2017. We would like to wish all our listeners a Happy Holiday Season and all the best for the new year!
 
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This episode covers the first part of a conference given by André Gagné during the first Global Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Forum organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS). The event was held on November 16 & 17, 2016 at Concordia University and was made possible by the generous support of the Consulate General of the United States in Montreal. This forum brought together experts and practitioners from academia, the government and civil society. The goal was to discuss and find solutions to the current threat that violent extremism is posing to societies across the world.

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In the next two podcasts, we discuss some aspects of a recent conference entitled: Assaulting Cultural Heritage: ISIS's Fight to Destroy Diversity in Iraq and Syria. The event was organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) and was held at Concordia University on September 25-26, 2016. These episodes will focus on a paper given during the first panel of the conference on ISIS and the Intellectual Roots of Assaulting Cultural Heritage.

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This week on the Inquisitive Minds Podcast (episode 12), we are concluding our discussion on Gnosticism. In this podcast, we will see how scholars have been defining Gnosticism, to the point where some would argue for dismantling the entire category. Should scholars still use the term and category of "Gnosticism"? If not, is there another way to conceptualize such an idea? Is it time to revisit and refine how scholars have defined Gnosis in the past? Can Gnosis be understood as a mood or worldview espoused by different religious and / or philosophical groups in Antiquity? 

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In the past few years, scholars of early Christian history have sharply disagreed on whether or not Gnosticism is a valid category to describe the diversity of early Christian beliefs and practices. As we now know, early Christianity was not a monolithic religion. This is why many scholars prefer to use the expression "Early Christianities". Believers had many divergent perspectives on the person of Jesus, the creation of the world, the identity of the "true" god, the means of salvation, and the value of the Jewish tradition - just to name a few. These differences caused many tensions and rivalries between the various Christian groups in Late Antiquity, and this is where Gnosticism comes into play. This week on the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we will examine how scholars explain "Gnosticism" and the related idea of "Gnosis" (knowledge or insight). If Gnosticism is not a viable category as some scholars argue, should we not simply drop the expression? Is there any evidence of Gnosticism at the the turn of the first century CE or prior to that time period? Which ancient religious texts can be considered as Gnostic? How was Gnosis understood by philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle? These are some of the questions we will explore on this Monday's episode.

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