On May 15 at 7pm, at BBUUC, the Religious Texts and Society Affinity Group will be continuing our discussion of Karen Armstrong’s book “The Great Transformation.” Mark Yount will be leading a discussion of the Axial Age in Greek culture.
This month we’ll discuss the religious aspects of ancient Greek culture, especially from the 6th to 4th centuries BCE when Solon and Pericles, Aeschylus and Sophocles, Herodotus and Thucydides, Socrates and Plato lived. We’ll pay particular attention to Armstrong’s analysis of how rational and irrational elements intertwined to shape that amazing Athenian society that saw the inventions of history, tragedy, philosophy, and democratic government. The same citizens who argued philosophy or debated laws also wept together at tragedies and allowed themselves the transports of orgiastic mystery cults. What would it have been like to be one of them? And what might we learn about the social and psychological factors that religion involves in other cultures and times, including our own?
We anticipate a lively discussion. If you can join us, these are the pages to read: 49-61, 101-114, 138-146, 183-190, 220-232, 248-265, 313-330, 348-356. All are welcome, whether or not you have done the reading.