How to be an Atheist in Medieval Europe

Alec Ryrie takes a tour of medieval unbelief, showing why some believed that God was being used to swindle and manipulate them. A lecture by Professor Alec Ryrie, Gresham Professor of Divinity 27 September 2018.

 

There was no intellectually sophisticated or articulate ‘atheism’ in the Middle Ages, but there was plenty of raw scepticism and incredulity. Church courts regularly heard blasphemy cases which went as far as outright denial of God. This lecture will take a tour of medieval unbelief, showing how and why some medieval people defied the powerful orthodoxies of their day: fired not by intellectual or philosophical doubts but by suspicion that ‘God’ was being used to swindle and manipulate them. Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597..


 

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