The Folly and the Ivy: A Critical Consideration of Christmas

Speaker(s): Gerry Bowler
Date: May 26-30 2014
Length: 12h10min
Product ID: RGDL4416S

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Christmas is the world's most popular holiday and comes with a long and rich history. We will study its origins as a religious celebration and chart the changes to its festive complexion. We will meet astrologer-kings, virgins, shepherds, merchants, priests, werewolves, warriors, prophets, academics and sundry nocturnal gift-bringers; we will encounter reindeer, puddings, Puritans, Nazis and atheists. We will examine songs, art, violence, commerce, ceremony and magic of almost two thousand years of the feast. Lectures include:

  • The Invention of Christmas
  • Crisis and Decline
  • The Revival of Christmas
  • The Rise of Santa Claus
  • The Christmas Wars

See All Audio by Gerry Bowler

Gerry Bowler is Professor of History at the University of Manitoba. His research centres on the intersection of religion and popular culture, especially the celebration of Christmas. He has published books and articles on a wide variety of topics including Bloody Mary, The Simpsons, professional hockey, Protestant justification of assassination and the relationship of Aristotle to professional wrestling.

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