Most people sense and recognize another dimension beyond the physical plane of our existence and call the personal inner reality that this dimension connotes the human “soul,” known also as the “Spirit” or “Life Force.” Recognition of this inner reality is the basis of most religions but remains difficult to define or explain. In this week we will hear various interpretations of this ineffable human experience.
Ori Z. Soltes teaches theology, art history, philosophy, and political history at Georgetown University. He is former Director of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum, and has curated more than 85 exhibitions on history, ethnography, and modern and contemporary art there and at other venues across the country and overseas.
Dr. Soltes is the author of over 280 books, articles, exhibition catalogues, and essays on a variety of topics. Recent books include Our Sacred Signs: How Jewish, Christian and Muslim Art Draw from the Same Source; Searching for Oneness: Mysticism in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; Untangling the Web of the Middle East; Magic and Religion in the Greco-Roman World: The Beginnings of Judaism and Christianity; and most recently, God and the Goalposts: A Brief History of Sports, Religion, Politics, War, and Art (second edition). Eros and Eris: Love and Strife in and Beyond the Greco-Roman World is being published in Spring 2021, while Fethullah Gulen: An Intellectual Biography, will be released in mid-2021. He is also the editor of Immortality, Memory, Creativity, and Survival: The Arts of Alice Lok Cahana, Ronnie Cahana, and Kitra Cahana, published in December 2020.
Professor Soltes also teaches at Georgetown University’s Center for Jewish Civilization, and leads study tours throughout the world, including the religious world’s most sacred sites. Having served as Chautauqua Theologian in 2007, Ori is always a highly anticipated speaker at Chautauqua.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.