The Viking Age: Viking History, Settlements, and Impact

Presenter: Ken Johnson, Geologist Emeritus

Class Date: Tuesday,  March 5

Class Time: 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Parkway, OKC Kairos Classroom

Class Cost: $5

Class Description: The term “Viking” conjures up images of seafaring pagans raiding, pillaging, and killing their way across Christian northern Europe  in the late 8th through the late 11th centuries. And that is, in fact, one aspect of the Viking age. Coming from their homelands of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, many Vikings sailed along the coasts of the British Isles and continental Europe seeking easy targets of opportunity. Although the first minor raid occurred on   the south coast of England in 789 AD, it was the bloodthirsty and devastating raid on the undefended monastery at Lindisfarne (the “Holy Island”) on the coast of northeast England in 793 that was the beginning of the apocalyptic Viking age.  Raids continued along the coasts of the British Isles and European coasts, because the Vikings had perfected their “longships” that were designed for speed, stability, and agility on the open ocean, and the ships had a shallow draft that enabled them to enter coastal waters, estuaries, and rivers where they could land troops easily.  In addition to some of the Vikings being raiders and pillagers, others, because of their longships, were great explorers and traders. Their travels and settlements reached across the Atlantic to Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and even to Newfoundland in North America (and beyond???). They also voyaged into the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, and established significant settlements in England, Ireland, Russia, and France (Normandy) during the Viking age. Although the end of the Viking age is generally regarded as being the latter part of the 11th century, coinciding roughly with the Norman conquest of England and the acceptance of Christianity in Denmark and Norway, far-flung Viking (Norse) communities lived on in Iceland and Greenland.  Come and learn about the violent aspects of the Viking age, along with the equally exciting exploration activities that led them to colonize distant parts of the northern hemisphere.

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The Scopes “Monkey” Trial – What Really Happened?

Presenter: Gordon Greene

Class Date: Tuesday,  March 26

Class Time: 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Parkway, OKC Kairos Classroom

Class Cost: $5

Class Description: Considered by many legal historians as the most important trial in American history, this famous 1925 case led to a courtroom clash between giants. Famous agnostic Clarence Darrow, America’s leading defense attorney, took on William Jennings Bryan, who assisted the prosecution. Bryan had been a major party candidate for president in 1896, 1900 and 1908.  The trial received worldwide coverage—probably more than any event in the history of the world up to that time. The legal battle centered on a new state law that forbade the teaching of evolution in the public schools of Tennessee, an issue that continues to divide Americans in the 21st century. Unlike the fictionalized version presented in the film “Inherit the Wind,” this account is taken from the ACTUAL trial transcripts and sticks to historical facts.

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The Science of Spirituality: From Revelation to Experimental Demonstration

Presenter: Benjamin Scherlag, Internal Medicine

Class Date: Tuesday,  April 16

Class Time: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Parkway, OKC Kairos Classroom

Class Cost: $5

Class Description: The first hour will be a review of the literature of subjective evidence dealing with such concepts as the Out-of-Body experience, etc. The second hour will present laboratory demonstrations suggesting a scientific basis for these concepts.

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