Lecture Twenty Four The Survival of the Past

Scope: In our final lecture, we explore the survival of pre-Christian traditions in Europe. The lecture focuses on folklore and the lasting presence of such Celtic influences as Beltane fires, May Day celebrations, mistletoe, maypoles, and other such practices. The lecture also discusses magic places in Europe, such as the great maze at the Cathedral of Chartres. We conclude with a summation of the material discussed in previous lecture, an explanation of how the triumph of science led to the relegation of other forms of knowledge to the realm of superstition, and the manner in which the terror of history was redefined and transformed on the eve of the Enlightenment. We conclude with some thoughts on the manner in which the terror of history remains a grim reality in contemporary history, above all, in the disasters of the last century.

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