Registration has sold out for this series. We have received an outstanding response--thank you for your interest! Walk up registration will be accepted on a space-available basis.
Separation of church and state; limited government; marriage based on love: these are all fundamental concepts of Western civilization dating back to the Greek and Roman empires, right?
Actually, these cherished mom-and-apple-pie ideals, touted as societal building blocks passed down to us from our Classical forebears, evolved in response to the peculiar complexities of western European life in the Middle Ages.
Join UW Professor of History Robert Stacey for a fascinating look at the medieval origins of the modern western world, our 36th Annual History Lecture Series, one of the most popular lifelong learning programs offered to University of Washington alumni and friends.
Cost: Individual lectures $10 UWAA members; $12 non-members; $5 students. 4-lecture series pass: $20 UWAA members; $30 non-members; $10 students.
The Oddity of the Modern West
January 11, 2011, 7-9 p.m., Kane Hall 130
In this series overview, Professor Stacey introduces the concept that our modern world, both in Europe and the Americas, derived its ideas about religion, politics, law and love from the Middle Ages, not from the classical world of antiquity. He'll discuss how the West's medieval beginnings shaped the passionate but polarized society in which we live today.
The Separation of Religion from Politics
January 18, 2011, 7-9 p.m., Kane Hall 130
For most of human history, religion and politics--"church" and "state"--have been regarded as the responsibilities of governments to enforce. Why, then did the West's "great separation" of religion from politics occur during the Middle Ages? Why has it proved so contentious in practice? Explore how this transcendent separation created a modern culture unlike any other.
January 25, 2011, 7-9 p.m., Kane Hall 130
The modern West limits the powers of government through law, and defines an arena of conscience into which government should not intrude. Where did these notion of limited government and private conscience come from? Why are Americans so committed to them? And why do these ideas continue to create such controversy in our politics?
Love and Marriage
February 1, 2011, 7-9 p.m., Kane Hall 130
Romantic love is an experience every historical era recognizes. Only during the Middle Ages, however, did western Europeans come to believe that romantic love should be an essential component of marriage. Explore how this connection between love and marriage continues to stir our contemporary debates about divorce, gay marriage and civil unions.
About the Lecturer
Robert Stacey is a UW Professor of History and Divisional Dean of Arts and Humanities. He is the author of four books, including the best-selling textbook Western Civilizations, and has taught medieval history at Yale and the University of Washington since 1983. At the UW, he has been Chair of the Jewish Studies Program, Chair of the History Department and Divisional Dean of Social Sciences. In winter 2005, he gave the History Lecture Series on The Crusades.
The opening lecture, The Oddity of the Modern West, serves as an introduction and a summary of the arguments Prof. Stacey will make in more detail in lectures 2, 3 and 4. Those not planning to attend the entire series may at least want to include lecture 1 in your plans.
Location and Directions
Kane Hall is located on the north side of Red Square on the UW Seattle campus. View a map showing the location. Paid parking is available in the Central Plaza Garage below Kane Hall at $10; additional parking is available in several west campus lots (W6, W12, W14) for $5 (cash only at automated pay stations).
Driving Directions: From I-5, take the NE 45th Street exit (#169). Turn east onto NE 45th Street. Continue east about one quarter mile to 15th Avenue NE and turn right. Head south on 15th Avenue three blocks to NE 41st Street. Turn left at Gate #1 into the Central Plaza Garage. Stop at the gatehouse inside the garage for directions and a parking permit.
Transit Information: There are more than 60 bus routes from all over King and Snohomish counties serving the University District. For more information on taking a bus to the UW, visit the regional online trip planner provided by King County Metro.
We're sorry, registration for this event is no longer available.