6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Event Type

Online – In English and German
For the “Long Night of Philosophy” in Zurich
Sponsored as part of the UNESCO World Day of Philosophy by the Catholic Church of Zurich

1700 – 1830 UK time, 1800-1930 Central European Time – Zoom details will be posted here when available.

Breathing Life into Words, Meanings and Action:
Journeys of Consciousness from Ancient Times to Today.

 The presentation begins by looking at the “translation problems” that arise when reading ancient Semitic languages, such as the Aramaic of Jesus, the Hebrew of Genesis and the Arabic of the Qur’an. All of these languages originate in a pre-agricultural, nomadic context in which the divine, the human and nature are not only named differently, but experienced differently. The talk will give examples and insights from important phrases in the “Lord’s Prayer” (Das Vaterunser), the Genesis creation stories and the early Suras of the Qur’an. Words translated today as “God,” “heaven,” “light,” “good,” “evil,” “spirit” and “blood” look very different from an ancient Semitic way of knowing. Rather than simply being historical trivia, the change in word meanings in these and arguably all languages reveal an evolution of consciousness that is still going on today. This evolution affects how we treat each other, nature and our selves. Whether it proceeds in a healthy or unhealthy direction is up to us. Short talk followed by interview and questions from the audience.

Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz is a spiritual teacher, renowned religious scholar and psychologist. He combines Christian and Jewish roots with Middle Eastern wisdom. He was for many years the co-chair of the Mysticism Group of the American Academy of Religion and holds a doctorate in religious studies in hermeneutics of ancient Semitic languages. He also co-founded the International Dances of Universal Peace Network. He maintains seminar activities throughout Europe and is the author of several books, including Das Vaterunser (Prayers of the Cosmos) and Das Verborgene Evangelium (The Hidden Gospel), focusing on a view of Jesus’s words through the Aramaic language. Another focus is two other ancient Semitic languages, Hebrew and Arabic, in books like Das Ursprüngliche Meditation (The Original Meditation) and Sufibuch des Lebens (The Sufi Book of Life). 

Link to Event Description and Registration

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