Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope's Address to Congress

Here is Pope Francis I's address to a joint session of Congress.  It is not a transcript, but a pre-circulated copy.  So, there might be some discrepancy with what was actually said.  He structured the speech around four Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton.  Take a look.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gladiators, Funerals, and Roman Schadenfreude

Yesterday I was teaching on Gladiators in my Religion and Sports class.  I had two good questions that generated a lot of discussion in both sections of my class and I thought I would share them here.  The first is in the context of the traditional origins of gladiatorial combat in funeral games:

"Why honor the dead with more death?"

The second question is more about the general Roman psyche:

"Why did they enjoy this so much?"

The discussion following both questions, by the way, at some point touched upon gladiatorial combat as a form of human sacrifice.

So, how would you answer these questions?