Debate about the Life and Work of Jesus Christ continues
What: Public talk about history, science and religion and how it changed 19th century Britain
Who: Ian Hesketh, Australian Research Council Future Fellow with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland
When: Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Where: Science building, room SCI 337 at UBC’s Okanagan campus
Ian Hesketh, an expert on the relationship between history, science and religion will discuss his research that examines the politics of publishing a sensational anonymous account of Christ’s life on November 28.
Hesketh is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland. He is the author of three books: Of Apes and Ancestors: Evolution, Christianity, and the Oxford Debate (2009); The Science of History in Victorian Britain (2011); and, most recently, Victorian Jesus: J.R. Seeley, Religion, and the Cultural Authority of Anonymity (2017).
“What gives this special interest is that Ian is one of our own,” says Assoc. Prof. of History James Hull. Hesketh is originally from Quesnel, BC, and completed a Bachelor of Arts in history at Okanagan University College in Kelowna before going on to earn a master’s degree and PhD at York University. “One of his earlier books is used as a text in a history course that he took from me as an undergraduate.”
When the book Ecce Homo: A Survey in the Life and Work of Jesus Christ was published in 1865 it created an absolute sensation, selling upwards of 20,000 copies in just over a year.
The subject of intense debate and analysis in the periodical and newspaper presses, Ecce Homo presented Christ not as a worker of miracles but rather as an enthusiast for humanity. While this was a provocative claim, the fact that the book was anonymously published added a further layer of intrigue to the book’s reception.
Hesketh’s talk will examine the varied reception of Ecce Homo as well as the politics of publishing a sensational anonymous account of Christ’s life.
“As in the mid-Victorian Britain described in Ian’s book and this talk, in an age of social media we are again in a time of controversial anonymous publishing of opinions,” says Hull. “Then as now, some found the cloak of anonymity liberating while others questioned the practice.”
Co-sponsored by the Department of History and Sociology in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, the talk is open to the public. Refreshments will be served, and there will be an opportunity to meet Ian Hesketh following the talk.