23 December 2011

Holiday Weekend Specials: Philosophy Talk and BackStory

Saturday, 24 December, 12:00 noon (re-broadcast Sunday, 6:00 pm): Philosophy Talk: How Relevant is Jesus? Some people think Jesus was the son of God, though many who are skeptical about that still think he was a great moral teacher. But if we really knew what Jesus would think about moral issues that he didn't confront while he lived – abortion, terrorism, euthanasia, gay marriage or the destruction of old-growth redwoods – would it be that helpful? Would his moral vision have any implications for these issues? Ken and John discuss the moral philosophy of Jesus and its contemporary relevance with Andrew Fiala, Director of the Ethics Center at Fresno State University and author of What Would Jesus Really Do? The Power and Limits of Jesus' Moral Teachings.

Saturday, 24 December, 6:00 pm (re-broadcast Sunday, 12:00 noon): BackStory: Naughty and Nice, A History of the Holiday Season. Christmas may be the big kahuna of American holy days, but it wasn’t always so. It used to be a time of drunken rowdiness, when the poor would demand food and money from the rich. The Puritans banned Christmas altogether. It wasn’t until the 1820s that the holiday was re-invented as the peaceful, family-oriented, and consumeristic ritual we celebrate today. In this episode, the History Guys examine the history of the “holiday season” in America. Has Christmas grown more or less religious? How has the holiday evolved and changed here? To what extent was Hanukkah a reaction to Christmas, and how have American Jews shaped and reshaped their own wintertime rituals?