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The Betty M. & William B. Jones Humanities Speaker Series presents   

All presentations are free and open to the public, and will be held in the Hackney Theater of the Meredith Center for the Arts, 7336 Granby Street. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. A reception will follow each lecture.


SUNDAY, OCT. 22, 2017, AT 3 P.M.

"From Reformation to Transformation: The Flourishing of the Artsin the Wake of the Protestant Reformation”

Dr. Anne H. Muraoka, associate professor of art history at Old Dominion University

When the German Augustinian monk Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the doors of Wittenberg Cathedral on Oct. 31, 1517, he did not intend to begin a reformation. Nor did Luther plan on the widespread waves of iconoclasm—instigated by his reform-minded colleagues—that erupted throughout northern Europe beginning in 1521 and enduring through the first two decades of the seventeenth century. Once seen as a period of stagnation in the arts, this lecture examines how the Reformation sparked new forms of expression, new pictorial genres, and a new style. Join Dr. Muraoka as she explores the the flourishing of the artsin the wake of the protestant reformation during this intimate afternoon session.   


SATURDAY, FEB. 24, 2017, AT 3 P.M.

“Reformation: A Look Back 500 Years...”

Dr. Erin Lambert, associate professor of History at the University of Virginia

October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses in Wittenberg. What did Luther intend to do, and what did he actually accomplish? Among the most enduring—but perhaps unanticipated—consequences of that action, this talk suggests, was the transformation of the idea and act of belief. Join Dr. Lambert as she looks back on the Reformation on it's 500th anniversary.


FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2017 AT 7 P.M.

“The Impact of the Gutenberg Press on Social, Political,and Religious Thought”

Dr. David Copeland, A.J. Fletcher Professor and professor of communications at Elon University

The printing press changed the world. Within a few decades of its creation, the the ideas of some of the greatest thinkers in the Western world appeared not just in Latin but in the languages of the people. No longer did those ideas circulate solely in the domain of society’s elites–the clergy and royalty. Because of the press’ movable type and relative ease of reproducing pages, ideas on a wealth of topics spread among the people. Religion underwent reformation, society experienced shifts in power, and political upheaval affected nearly every country in Europe as well as countries' colonial possessions, all because as one English thinker said of the reach of the information provided by the printed word, “Knowledge is, indeed, power.” Join Dr. Copeland as he discussed the impact of the printing press in how it opened up the ability to share ideas among people, as well as its impact in the media forms that would follow that allow information to be shared, republished, and debated in the public sphere.