In the decades immediately following the French Revolution, Paris was at the center of a series of major developments in medical science, sometimes described as the transition from medieval to modern medicine. Although the innovations associated with the Paris School were in large part products of the ideological and institutional transformations brought on by the Revolution, they belong to a long list of challenges to the Galenic orthodox...more
The principles of interpreting the New Testament in this course assume a historical critical perspective. The historical critical method of interpreting a text privileges the intended meaning of the ancient author, the interpretation of a text's original audience, the original language the text was written in, and the avoidance of anachronism. However, for most of the last two thousand years, this has not been the method of interpretation ...more
Professor Brownell discusses what the green revolution is and how it has impacted the world scene in both positive and negative ways. On one hand, the green revolution has increased world food productivity and decreased world hunger; on the other hand, it has produced negative environmental effects and failed to benefit all countries involved. Professor Brownell also reviews the green revolution's technology advances including different ki...more
In ancient times, documents that were falsely attributed to an author, called pseudepigrapha, were a common phenomenon. Both the Letters to the Colossians and Ephesians are most likely pseudonymous works attributed to the Apostle Paul. The writer of Colossians assures his readers that they already possess all the benefits of salvation and do not need to observe rules concerning feast days, Sabbaths, and worship of the angels. Ephesians see...more
There are many ways of interpreting the text, and ancient methods of interpretation may seem bizarre to our modern sensibilities. The New Testament offers us many examples of how an early Christian might interpret the text of the Hebrew Bible, which was their scripture. The Letter to the Hebrews, which is not really a letter but a speech of encouragement, structures its argument around the thesis that Jesus' liturgy and priesthood is super...more
An ancient disease, tuberculosis experienced a major upsurge in Western Europe in the nineteenth century, corresponding with increasing industrialization and urbanization. Poor air quality and cramped living conditions increased susceptibility to the disease. Tuberculosis also had a significant impact on European culture. In this respect, the modern career of the disease can be divided into two eras: the first associated with artistic roma...more
We have known of the existence of the Gospel of Thomas from ancient writers, but it was only after the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices that the actual text became available. The Gospel of Thomas is basically a collection of sayings, or logia, that sometimes seem similar, perhaps more primitive than sayings found in the canonical Gospels. Sometimes, however, the sayings seem better explained as reflecting a "Gnostic" understanding of t...more
Development is responsible for the complexity of multicellular organisms. It helps to map the genotype into the phenotype expressed by the organism. Development is responsible for ancient patterns among related organisms, and many structures important to development shared by many life forms have changed little over hundreds of millions of years. Development is expressed combinatorially, allowing a relatively small amount of genetic inform...more
How pictures have been used in mathematics. The use of illustrations in ancient mathematics books, the invention of the first graphs and the representation of probabilities, sets and formulae by pictures. We look at the role played by computers in exploring and displaying the behaviour of extremely large and complicated problems. This has changed the culture of applied mathematics and science and influences the way research is done and t...more
August 3, 2006 presentation by Uwe Bergmann for the Stanford University Office of Science Outreach's Summer Science Lecture Series. Uwe Bergman, Physicist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator takes the viewer on a journey of a 1,000 year old parchment from its origin in the Mediterranean city of Constantinople to a particle accelerator in Menlo Park.
This course approaches the New Testament not as scripture, or a piece of authoritative holy writing, but as a collection of historical documents. Therefore, students are urged to leave behind their pre-conceived notions of the New Testament and read it as if they had never heard of it before. This involves understanding the historical context of the New Testament and imagining how it might appear to an ancient person.