Lecture will focus on ‘ritual remedies’ of early Christianity

A Bucknell University faculty member will visit the campus of Western Carolina University to deliver a lecture titled “Ritual Remedies: Drugs and Medicine in Early Christianity.”

John Penniman, assistant professor of religious studies at Bucknell, will speak at 5 p.m. Monday, March 12, in WCU’s Niggli Theatre.

During his talk, Penniman will consider early Christian rituals as “medical events,” emphasizing the pharmacological effects attributed to the substances employed in ritual practices such as anointing with oil, drinking wine and eating bread. He will examine what it might mean to think of the development of the early Christian community as the formation of a drug culture.

The event is co-sponsored by WCU’s Honors College, College of Health and Human Sciences, and departments of Philosophy and Religion, and Anthropology and Sociology.

The talk is part of the Jerry Jackson Lecture in the Humanities series. For more information, contact Amy McKenzie in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at 828-227-3852 or amckenzie@wcu.edu.