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Pro Dilks' Skeptics talk this past Saturday (3/31/12).

From: cole m.
Sent on: Sunday, April 1, 2012 10:54 PM
I agree Don!  Pro Dilks always gives a fantastic and unique presentation. I too learn so much history and the importance of literature. 

And thanks Steve for replying to Don -this also answered some unanswered questions last night, thanks!  We look forward to your next visit to the Skeptics!  Talk with you soon about that.


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Stephen Dilks <[address removed]>
To: Don Dodge <[address removed]>; Fred Heeren <[address removed]>; Cole Morgan <[address removed]>
Sent: Sunday, April 1,[masked]:46 PM
Subject: Re: Your presentation to the Skeptics on Saturday, 3/31/12


Thanks.  You are welcome.  I figured out today that the Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, who argued very strongly against Darwin in the 1860's, was the third son of William Wilberforce, the man who worked so hard to abolish Slavery and who wrote the 1807 antislavery Bill.

I also saw a lot of sources that suggest the senior Wilberforce was motivated by a moral commitment that began when he had a conversion experience that turned him into an avid Christian Evangelist. So, I need to give more thought to the role of religion in the transformation that took place in Britain in 1770-1833.

The questions last night were brilliant and had me working things out through the night and all day today.  I have a lot of stuff to  dig more deeply into, including the role of Christianity in the anti-slavery movement and, of course, the (very different) role of Christianity in the anti-Darwin movement. 

The other question, about the lawyers who argued the Somersett case in 1772, is also interesting.  There were FIVE advocates for Somersett, the main one being Francis Hargrave, a newly minted lawyer, fresh out of college at the Lincoln's Inn; he was an Anglican (as he had to be in order to graduate from the Inns of Courts), but he seems to have been very low-key in his religious life.  The other famous advocate was Granville Sharp, who was one of the Anglican members of the "Society for the Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade" formed in the printing/book shop in 1787, and he was much more committed in terms of his religion...he learned Greek and Hebrew in order to engage in theological discussions...and is reputed to have offered a prayer of thanksgiving when the Slave-Trade Act was passed in 1807.

Thanks again for your interest.  I appreciate the opportunity to air my ideas in a supportive but critical environment and, once more, realize how much I do not know!


On Sun, Apr 1, 2012 at 6:46 PM, Don Dodge <[address removed]> wrote:
Prf. Dilks,
I loved it!  You gave us interesting material, presented in a lively and entertaining way.  I learned quite a few things last night!
I taught English Literature to High School students many years ago, but I would have loved to have taken the course from you.
Thank you so much,
Don Dodge

Stephen John Dilks [masked])
Professor, English and Irish Literature
Director, English Undergraduate Program
Chair, U-News Publication Board

Spring 2012 office hours (CH 118): Tues. 1-3, Weds. 12-3, and by appointment.

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