Constantine the Great and Christianity in Roman Britain

Constantine the Great and Christianity in Roman Britain

Friday 23 March 2018, 18.30-19.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

A lecture by Sam Moorhead, British Museum.

Voted ‘Archaeologist of the Year 2011’ by readers of Current Archaeology, Sam Moorhead is the National Finds Adviser for Iron Age and Roman Coins in the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum. His recent publications include A History of Roman coinage in Britain (2013) and The Romans Who Shaped Britain (2017, co-written with David Stuttard). 


Curator's introduction to Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond

Curator's introduction to Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond

Thursday 15 March 2018, 13.30-14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Exhibition Curator Jill Cook gives a 45-minute illustrated introduction to the exhibition Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond


Finding Qumran Cave 1Q artefacts

Finding Qumran Cave 1Q artefacts

Thursday 8 March 2018, 16.00-17.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

In this lecture, Joan Taylor, King's College London, will review the aims and achievements of the Leverhulme-funded International Network for the Study of Dispersed Qumran Cave Artefacts and Archival Sources (King's College London, University of Malta, Faculty of Theology, Lugano).

Along with publications, the project makes available new findings via dqcaas.com, and also feeds data towards a new book series on the archaeology of the Qumran caves edited by J B Humbert and M Fidanzio, with the first volume of this series (on Cave 11Q) appearing shortly. The work thus far has concentrated on materials connected with Qumran Cave 1Q, 3Q and 11Q. In regard to Cave 1Q, there has been a particular focus on the jars dispersed around the globe in various museums and collections. Cave 11Q linen has been radiocarbon dated with interesting results. The photographic collection of the Allegro archive in Manchester Museum and the personal holdings of Allegro's daughter Judy Brown have been digitised, the latter including a rare film of the opening of the Copper Scroll. Archival materials elsewhere continue to be identified. For example, the Palestine Exploration Fund was found to have important textile fragments from Cave 1Q, as well as pottery from this cave.

The event is organised jointly by the British Museum, Palestine Exploration Fund and Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society. 


Holy lands and theme parks: religious visitor attractions worldwide

Holy lands and theme parks: religious visitor attractions worldwide

Thursday 19 April 2018, 16.00-17.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

As a burgeoning middle class seeks out modernity and fun as well as education and divine help, theme-parks are taking over much of the role of museums and much of the role of temples. This short talk by Crispin Paine, formerly Institute of Archaeology UCL, will report on a project to examine religion in visitor attractions worldwide.

Religion appears in many thousands of theme parks throughout the world. 'Religion parks', especially in India and the USA, are set up by religious groups to promote their faith. Examples are the Evangelical Christian Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida, and the Swaminarayan Hindu Akshardham in New Delhi. Religion also features strongly in cultural parks, both those themed (often nostalgically) on local culture, and those themed on 'exotic' foreign cultures. Such parks are common in China, Japan and South East Asia. Examples include the Buddhist Suoi Tien in Saigon and the Mormon Polynesia Park in Honolulu. The talk will look particularly at Bible-based attractions in the US, which the Palestine Exploration Fund recently enabled Crispin Paine to study.

The talk will touch on the underlying political agenda of many parks, the relationship of cultural parks to museums, the themes common to parks east and west (heaven and hell, the 'Holy Land', gods and monsters, religious leaders), the business context, and the impact on visitors. 


Museums and the materialisation of refusal

Museums and the materialisation of refusal

Friday 9 March 2018, 18.30-19.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

Wayne Modest, Tropenmuseum, Museum Volkenkunde and Africa Museum, Netherlands, responds to issues related to exhibiting experiences of empires, with reference to what he refers to as the 'materialisation of refusal'.

This event is part of the BBC's Civilisations Festival (2–11 March 2018). 


Reading Margery Kempe's inner voices

Reading Margery Kempe's inner voices

Friday 9 March 2018, 13.30-14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Charles Fernyhough, Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Durham, discusses the English mystic Margery Kempe (c. 1373–after 1438), whose work The Book of Margery Kempe is considered the first autobiography in English. He explores how Margery's descriptions of her voice-hearing experiences can help to refine psychological and neuroscientific accounts of hallucinations. 


Rosemary Hill: What does she think she looks like?

Rosemary Hill: What does she think she looks like?

Monday 12 March 2018, 18.30-19.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£10, Members/concessions £8

An LRB winter lecture by Rosemary Hill.

Clothes come between the naked self and the world. They affect the way we are seen and they imply something about how we see ourselves, something that seems especially true for women.

Writer and historian Rosemary Hill asks whether this is compensation for the fact women have less scope for action than men, or whether it is an advantage to have that extra sense Virginia Woolf called ‘frock consciousness’. 


The Parthenon: the first monument to civilisation?

The Parthenon: the first monument to civilisation?

Thursday 8 March 2018, 13.30-14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Writer, lecturer and dramatist David Stuttard explores how the Parthenon represents Periclean Athens’ definition of itself as the embodiment of civilisation.

Athens under the statesman Pericles (c. 461–429 BC) set itself up in contrast to the 'barbarian other'. This has cast a long shadow not only on how classical Athens is viewed, but also on what is considered to be 'civilisation'. David Stuttard argues that the Parthenon is the first time this idea is manifested in art. 


The Stonehenge tunnel debate

The Stonehenge tunnel debate

Friday 6 April 2018, 18.30-19.30
BP Lecture Theatre
£5, Members/concessions £3

This panel discussion will look at the current state of the debate around the proposed Stonehenge tunnel. The event will be led by Mike Pitts, director of excavations at Stonehenge in 1979–1980 and Editor of British Archaeology


The orthodox church of Ethiopia: a history

The orthodox church of Ethiopia: a history

Thursday 12 April 2018, 13.30-14.30
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

In this lecture Revd Dr John Binns, Visiting Professor at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies Cambridge and author of The Orthodox Church of Ethiopia: A History, explores the history of Christianity in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia adopted Christianity in the 4th century AD, making it one of the earliest Christian states in the world. Over the following 1,700 years Ethiopia has developed a unique form of Christianity that has always been connected to the wider Christian world, but has also taken its own path, drawing on a range of multifaith influences.