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A phenomenon that spans human experience, from the ancient world right up to today’s ferocious religious debates, blasphemy is an act of individuals, but also a widespread and constant presence in cultural, political and religious life. David Nash, author of the first accessible history of this crime, described its prosecution, its impact and its punishment and suppression.
His book Acts Against God begins in ancient Greece with the genesis of blasphemy’s link with the state. From here we move on to blasphemy in the medieval world, in the Reformation and the Enlightenment. The book concludes with the twenty-first century, with individuals and the state seeking to adopt blasphemy as the means to resist the secular and the globalization of culture.
David Nash is Professor of History at Oxford Brookes University. He has been researching, lecturing and publishing on the history of blasphemy for thirty years, and is author of Blasphemy in Britain (1999) and Blasphemy in the Christian World (2010), as well as his latest book, published by Reaktion Books and available HERE.
** This talk will be held online using the Zoom application (available for PC, Mac, iOS and Android). A link to join the talk will be sent to ticketholders on the day of the event.