Mohammed and the Arab Conquests

In this lecture, Professor Freedman at Yale University introduces Islam. He begins with a discussion of its geographical context: the dry desert lands of the Arabian peninsula. The Bedouins, or nomadic Arabs of the region, lived in a tribal society somewhat similar to the Germanic tribes discussed earlier in the course. Their raids against the Byzantine and the Persian Empire, for lack of strong opposition, would lead to the Arab conquests. The second half of the lecture focuses on the life of Mohammed (570/580 — 632) and the early years of Islam. Mohammed’s revelation was one of the unity of God and a progressive interpretation of God’s prophets, with Mohammed as the last of these. Early Islam was slow to differentiate itself for Christianity and Judaism, though this process accelerated after Mohammed’s flight to Medina in 622. Professor Freedman ends with a discussion of the tenets of Islam and anticipates the discussion of the Arab conquests in the next lecture.

The Meaning of the Vietnam War

Live broadcast – It’s perhaps the most important question of America’s past half century: Why did we go to war in Vietnam? On June 7, 2013 at 3 p.m., Cornell history professor Fredrik Logevall, one of the world’s leading scholars of the war, will consider U.S. intervention in Vietnam anew, drawing from his Pulitzer Prize-winning new book, Embers of War.

Lecture by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn, iconic architect of the current Mindfulness movement and author of countless books, gives the annual Mary Interlandi ’05 Memorial Lecture entitled “What’s all this talk about Mindfulness? The heart of the matter and its relevance in a Dystopic Times.”