Biblical scholar Gary Rendsburg explores how the people who left us the Bible were informed by cultures including Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia, and how these influences are reflected in its books.
The Smithsonian often uses politics and religion to tell stories of American life and history. Curator Lisa Kathleen Graddy of the American History Museum and Brad Braxton of the African American History and Culture Museum reveal how their work shapes those narratives.
Who is Allah? The teachings and the temperament of the figure at the center of the world’s second-largest religion have drawn widely varying—and often controversial—interpretations over the centuries. Noted religious scholar Jack Miles investigates that question of identity by examining the nature of Allah as reflected in the Qur’an and in interactions with humanity.
Every election cycle, American evangelicals play a significant demographic role, but who exactly makes up this complex group that spans multiple denominations, regions, and ethnicities? Historian Joseph Slaughter, covers 400 years of history to highlight key doctrines, figures, and events that shaped and transformed what it has meant to be an evangelical in America.
Art historian Laura McCloskey examines how the monk-artists who produced sumptuous illuminated books such as the The Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels created sacred texts that were also remarkable and innovative works of art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)
What makes Jerusalem a unique and revered place? In an absorbing day of illustrated lectures, Jodi Magness, an archaeologist who is an expert on Jerusalem, traces how a poor, isolated mountain town became sacred to billions of followers of the three Abrahamic faiths worldwide.