Lectures & Events

Day 1: Great Cities that Changed the World | Melbourne Lecture Series 2018

20 Oct 2018
  • Melbourne


Through history there have been a small number of cities which have had a disproportionately large impact on the world. The ideas, the activities, the events which occurred in them had impacts which have continued to influence culture and still resonate in the concepts, attitudes, values or beliefs of today. So integral are many of these effects to our ways of life that we never consider where they originated or how they spread; we accept them as fundamental to the beliefs and practices of the modern world. Rome, Florence, Venice and Paris are among these cities. These lectures explore how what transpired in them changed the world.

Please note bookings are essential.  Each afternoon offers 2 lectures, allowing time for a Q&A session at the conclusion of each lecture. A minimal fee of $12.00 per day will apply.

All Lectures Presented by Em. Prof. Bernard Hoffert, Hon President International Association of Art-UNESCO


Lecture 1 | 1.00 – 1.50pm

ROME: Suffering for the Faith – the Christian Conquest

Although the basis of Christianity begins with a public execution in the Roman province of Judea 2000 years ago, it was subsequent events in Rome and the empire it built which turned it into a world religion. The martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul, the hope offered by an afterlife, especially to the poor and enslaved, and the persecution of the faithful all helped Christianity succeed over other mystery faiths in Rome. But two developments made it triumphant. The emperor Constantine’s edict on Christianity, which allowed it to be openly practiced; and the symbolic language of the faith which enabled it to spread throughout the empire. This lecture looks at the evolution of that language and the art which projected it; how an abstract symbolism encapsulated concepts of faith so rich and so enduring, that even the pogroms of Nero, Decius and Diocletian could not limit their practice nor halt their spread throughout the empire and eventually beyond.


Lecture 2 | 2.20 – 3.10pm

FLORENCE: The Renaissance, Humanism and New Knowledge

When St Thomas Aquinas integrated the Aristotelian world view with the Old Testament he recognised the power of reason and its role in determining knowledge – ‘Reason in man is like God in the world’. His assertion that ‘A man has free choice to the extent he is rational’, inspired della Mirandola’s belief that “To [man] it is granted to have whatever he chooses, to be whatever he wills”.  He and other Renaissance thinkers laid the groundwork for the relationship between observation, deduction and understanding, the cornerstone of empirical knowledge and the basis of scientific thought. Human abilities had surpassed religious revelations, the study of the world and texts which explained it competed with dogma and a new visual culture reflected this. The logic of Vitruvian architecture was reborn in the works of Brunelleschi and Alberti while the paintings of Giotto challenged aesthetic canons heralding the celebration of realism. This lecture explores this development and how Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo and others created a renaissance in the expectations of art.


Bookings Essential

RESERVATIONS: Please book online (see below).

You are now able to book for the series on 1 ticket. When you click the Eventbrite booking link below you will be directed to 3 options.

The 1st option allows you to book for both days (20 & 27 October).

Or contact ASA on: (03) 9822 6899, Freecall 1800 645755 (outside Melbourne Metro) or email: [email protected]

VENUE: Theatre, Lauriston Girls’ School, 38 Huntingtower Road, Armadale.

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