Throughout history, humans have found ways to oppress and malign those they feel they're in opposition to, whether because of ethnicity or beliefs. In this collection, we're exploring the legacy of persecutions past, and why they're such a recurring theme.

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Talks structure30 minute lecture20 minute Q&A

3 talks in this Garden Series



Philosophy & Religion
Did the Roman Empire really wage a war against Christians and their God?

49 mins

History remembers the persecution of early Christians as a clash between the Roman state and its traditional gods, and the new Christian cult and its upstart God. But is that really all there is to the story? Read more

Dr. James Corke-Webster

King's College London

Dr James Corke-Webster is a classicist and historian with particular interests in early Christian and late antique history and literature. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Classics, History and Liberal Arts, and Co-Director of the Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies. He studied Classics and Theology at Oxford, Cambridge, and Manchester, before taking up a Fulbright Scholarship at Berkeley.

He has held lectureships at Edinburgh and Durham, and moved to Kings College in 2017. He is also the author of the multi-award winning book Eusebius and Empire: Constructing Church and Rome in the Ecclesiastical History.

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Psychology & Behaviour
Society & Politics
Are we living in an age of persecution?

57 mins

What's driving us when we act as a collective? And why does modern life mean more people feel persecuted than ever before? Read more

Prof. Fathali M. Moghaddam

Georgetown University

Prof. Fathali M. Moghaddam was born in Iran, educated from an early age in England, and returned to Iran with the revolution in 1979. He was researching and teaching in Iran during the hostage crisis and the first three years of the Iran-Iraq War.

After working for the United Nations, Prof. Moghaddam researched and taught at McGill University; served as Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science, and today he's both a professor of Psychology at Georgetown University, and the editor-in-chief of Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology.

He has published about 30 books and 300 papers, and received a number of prestigious academic awards. His most recent book is Shakespeare and the Experimental Psychologist.

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Society & Politics
What conditions create witch hunts?

54 mins

Witch hunting is, by and large, a thing of the past, yet we remain captivated by the concept. What drives this fascination, and why are we still talking about witch hunts today? Read more

Dr. Mikki Brock

Washington and Lee University

Michelle (Mikki) Brock is Associate Professor of History at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, USA.

As a child, Mikki was always fascinated by worlds unseen, which led to her unusual expertise in the history of "things that go bump in the night". She's now a scholar of religion and the supernatural in early modern Scotland, led by her research into dark places like demonology and witchcraft.

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