Lectures: Reviewing evolution of world society

Free lectures on the development of cultures encompassing world societies will be presented Oct. 17 and 18 in Kelowna

Ever wonder how terrestrial globes came about?

Or the influences of Islamic cultures of North Africa and the Middle East on the European Renaissance period?

On Friday, Oct. 17, 9 to 10:30 a.m., at the Delta Grand Hotel, the Pacific Northwest Renaissance Conference keynote address will be given by Lesley Cormack from the University of Alberta.

Cormack will speak to the topic of The Whole Earth, a Present for a Prince: Molyneaux’s Globes and the Creation of a Global Vision in Renaissance England.

Prior to the 16th century, few globes were produced, and these were generally celestial globes, showing the positions of stars in the sky, rather than “terrestrial globes” showing the positions of land masses on the Earth.

Originally used as mathematical instruments, terrestrial globes came to dominate society’s view of the world and have been used as teaching instruments ever since.

On Saturday, Oct. 18, 1:30 to 3 p.m., there will be a keynote lecture by George Saliba, from Columbia University, entitled Looking Beyond Europe: The Renaissance Engagement with the Islamic World.

In recent years, both westerners and residents of the Middle East and North Africa have questioned the relationship between their two cultures, often leading to contrasts drawn in terms of a distinction between the modern and tradition, or the technological and the traditional.

Saliba’s lecture will address how the science of the medieval Islamic world drove the efflorescence of culture in Europe, in the period known as the Renaissance.

The public is invited to attend these two free lectures at the annual conference, hosted by UBC Okanagan.