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A History of God’s Lies


November 15, 2013
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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Colloquium with Dallas Denery, Bowdoin College. Co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies and the Department of History.  For Religious Studies and History faculty, graduate students, and Stanford-affiliated guests. Brunch provided. RSVP to Ai Tran to receive a copy of the colloquium reading.

Can God lie? Although longstanding philosophical conceptions of God as eternal, unchanging and just suggested that God could not be a deceiver, much less a liar, scripture seemed to tell a different story. This paper investigates the tension between these two conception of God from the writings of Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine to Descartes and Pierre Bayle.

Dallas G. Denery II is an associate professor at Bowdoin College where he teaches medieval and early modern European intellectual and religious history. His first book, Seeing and Being Seen in the Later Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press) was published in 2005. He is co-editor, along with Kantik Ghosh and Nicolette Zeeman, of Uncertain Knowledge in the Middle Ages, which is forthcoming on Brepols. While on leave last year at the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, he completed a second book, The Devil Wins: A History of Lying from the Garden of Eden to the Enlightenment.