'Paradise Lost' comes to Thursday Forum

Extra: Lonnie Zingula, Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8613 or lzingula@coe.edu

2014-10-23 11:11:10 - General

Gina Hausknecht
John William King Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

Coe College's Thursday Forum examines 17th century English poet John Milton's "Paradise Lost" in November.

Regarded today as the author of one of the greatest works of English literature, Milton was a radical in his own time, far outside the mainstream in his views on religion, politics and marriage. "Paradise Lost" was written after Milton had dedicated two decades to public service during perhaps the most tumultuous period in English history - the civil wars of the 1640s and Oliver Cromwell’s interregnum government.

With English Professor Gina Hausknecht, participants will read excerpts from "Paradise Lost" and discuss how they reflect Milton's beliefs and values and how we can see him challenging many of the dominant assumptions of his day. Certain dimensions of life in Milton's paradise may be surprising: in his view, some aspects of human experience are natural, inevitable and not inherently wrong, including marital disagreements, arguing with authority figures, bad dreams and sex.

The series opens Nov. 6 with Milton's life and times. In week two, participants will meet Satan and the fallen angels and then God in the first three books of "Paradise Lost." The third week will introduce Adam and Eve and their life in Eden. The series concludes Dec. 4 with Milton's dramatization of the temptation and fall and its aftermath: the consequences not just for Adam and Eve but for all of human history up until a period that looks suspiciously like Milton's own, and might even have ramifications for ours.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with registration and refreshments from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. A luncheon is offered at the conclusion of each series.

The courses are open to all adults. Admission to the entire four-week course can be purchased for $30 on the first day or in advance. Admission to individual lectures is $12 per week. The closing luncheons cost an additional $8. For more information or to order gift certificates, call (319) 399-8619.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • "Heaven and Hell in the 17th Century: John Milton's 'Paradise Lost'" - Nov. 6, 13, 20, and Dec. 4.
  • "Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels: Mark, Matthew and Luke" - Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26.
  • "A Brief History of Money: From Athens to Auschwitz" - March 5, 12, 19, 26.
  • "Charles de Gaulle and 20th Century France" - April 2, 9, 16, 23.

Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe’s vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.