Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Superstition or common sense?


Another religious studies discovery from the New School Scrapbooks, this from 1933 (#9/3, page 3). What can we make of this quite amazing list of speakers? Who planned it, who came to hear? One thing at least is clear: a lecture series on Friday nights excludes observant Jews.

Update 27/4: It appears to have been not in 1933 but in Spring 1932:
"Factual rather than propagandistic"! Our first guess is that it was the brainchild of Arthur L. Swift, a theologian and sociologist at Union Theological Seminary, who herewith started a long-standing relationship with The New School which would include teaching (I should check what courses he taught), heading an important self-study in 1953, becoming Vice President some years later, and receiving an Honarary Degree at the end of his career in 1961. The only surprise is that Horace Kallen, who had been teaching about religion since 1920 and whose course "Dominant Ideals of Western Civilization" appears as course #6 in this same Spring 1932 catalog, had no part in it.

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