January 1st 2017 First Sunday Monthly Service on Ruins of Empires

Postings about each monthly service includes topics discussed and an open forum to further discuss those topics.
Post Reply
tim
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:13 pm

January 1st 2017 First Sunday Monthly Service on Ruins of Empires

Post by tim » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:11 am

Our New Year's Day service featured some reflections on how the ancients made some people into deities, notably the Romans who deified Caesar and others. It's just what they did back then!

We also much enjoyed a great presentation by guest speaker Thomas Christian Williams. Williams told us about a remarkable French philosopher and statesman, a contemporary of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, Constantin François de Chassebœuf, comte de Volney. Volney wrote a classic work in 1791 that continued to be widely read into the early 20th Century, RUINS OF EMPIRES. This book, an analysis "for all times, for all peoples, for all places," as Williams put it, of what makes nations flourish, was so important that Thomas Jefferson himself translated most of it into English, though anonymously as it included many ideas at odds with the religious orthodoxy of the time. And what was the crucial element necessary for a society's success? "Enlightened Self-Interest," wrote Volney. RUINS is available for free from gutenberg.com

There was lively discussion after Williams' presentation.

Post Reply