The age of the great cathedrals

Spring 2006 Program

The complexity and beauty of the Gothic Cathedral has captured the spirit and minds of visitors since the High Middle Ages to the present. In our third series, we explore the period ca 1100 - 1500, examining the various social, religious and ideological forces then present, and the interrelationships among them, with a view to gaining deeper insight into the vibrant and diverse culture that gave rise to the construction of the glorious edifices that remain among the most extraordinary and revolutionary beacons of human achievement.


6 lectures: March 30 – June 8, 2006

All lectures take place on Thursdays, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm, at the Columbus Community Centre, 232 Spencer Street, Cobourg. Seminars take place at the home of Bill and Elizabeth Edwards, Villa Idalia, 85 Victoria Street South, Port Hope, telephone (905) 885-0277

I. Thursday, March 30, 2006 – Professor Joe Goering, University of Toronto

“Town, Castle and Cathedral in the High Middle Ages: an introduction to medieval society and the Origins of the Gothic”

Friday, March 31, 2006 – Professor J. Goering, University of Toronto

Seminar: “Heloise, Abelard and the Schools of France”

II. Thursday, April 6, 2006 – Professor Adam Cohen, University of Toronto

"The Gothic Cathedral: Physics, Faith, and Fabrication"

Friday, April 7, 2006 – Professor Adam Cohen, University of Toronto

Seminar: “The Gothic Cathedral: Spotlight on Canterbury"

III. Thursday, April 27, 2006 – Professor Brian Stock, University of Toronto

“The Ethics of Reading: Plato, St. Augustine, Abelard and Dante”

Friday, April 28, 2006 – Professor Jill Ross, University of Toronto

Seminar: "Christian, Jewish and Islamic Literary Traditions in Medieval Spain"

IV. Thursday, May 11, 2006 – Professor Andy Orchard, University of Toronto

“Battling Monsters - Beowulf and Beyond: Anglo-Saxon, Nordic and Germanic epics in the High Middle Ages”

Friday, May 12, 2006 – Professor A. Orchard, University of Toronto

Seminar: “The Wonders of the East: Western views of Asia and Africa”

V. Thursday, May 25, 2006 – Professor David Klausner, University of Toronto

“Cathedral, Court and Square: Medieval Drama, Liturgy and Music”

Friday, May 26, 2006 – Professor D. Klausner, University of Toronto

Seminar: “Biblical Plays in Medieval England”

VI. Thursday, June 8, 2006 – Peter Coffman (Ph.D. candidate, Queen’s University)

“Gothic Re-Invented: Canadian Reflections of Medieval Gothic"

Friday, June 9, 2006 – P. Coffman (Ph.D. candidate, Queen’s University)

Seminar: a Visit to St Peter’s Anglican Church in Cobourg

Special Events

Thursday March 23, 2006, 7:00 pm – Heather MacKinnon, B.F.A., Master Gardener

“From a Persian Garden: How the Gardens of the Middle East influenced the Gardens of the west.”

Columbus Community Centre, Cobourg

April 20, 2006, 7:00 pm - Catherine Belyea, Host/Producer, CBC

“Of Troubadours and Courtly Love: Music of the High Middle Ages”

Columbus Community Centre, Cobourg

September 12 - 21, 2006 (dates approximate)

“The Cathedrals of Northern France”

10-day Art and Architecture Excursion to France

Watch for more information.