The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #62: Aeschylus

General Introduction
– Flowin’ like a bottle of Drano
– What’s on the blog?
– A listener vastly overestimates us

Who Is Prometheus?
– Deflating Gilmour’s balloon
– Zeus as new god on the block
– Sympathy for Prometheus

Zeus’s Role in the Play
– Bodily absent, present via agents
– Translating Zeus’s helpers
– (Browning’s translation comes from 1833)
– Descriptions of Zeus
– Zeus’s justice
– Divine ambiguities
– The suffering of Io

Divine Suffering and the Dionysian Festival
– Prometheus as crucified god
– The ambiguities of the festival itself
– Dionysus as suffering god and cause of suffering
– Improper worship
– Why Hephaestus limps

Bad Fortune as a Character
– Lady Fortune knocks some sense into Boethius
– The sublunary world
– Randomness, not malice
– Wyrd fortune
– Wheel! Of! Fortune!

Milton’s Prometheus
– Selfishness
– Satan’s public and private voices
– Milton critics as grumpy Muppets
– Ancient patterns of heroism

Unbinding Prometheus
– Shelley’s dissatisfaction
– The information Prometheus has on Zeus
– How fan fiction “corrects” the ending
– Appealing beyond Zeus
– Why use the Roman names?

The Nü Atheists: Stealing Fire?
– Why theodicy and anti-theodicy is nothing new
– Bart Ehrman’s immense self-satisfaction
– Higher justice and the Catholic Church
– Why Ivan Karamazov is a better Prometheus
– Dawkins and the bigger questions
– Is Prometheus an atheist?

Prometheus Bound and the Modern Christian
– The play as a corrective to syncretism
– Mythology as the good dreams of man
– The punishment for pity
– Shattering the unified “Greek mindset”

Aeschylus. Aeschylus II: The Suppliant Maidens and the Persians, Seven Against Thebes and Prometheus Bound. Ed. David Grene and Richmond Lattimore. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1992.

Boethius. The Consolation of Philosophy. Trans. Victor Watts. New York: Penguin, 1999.

Dante. Inferno. Trans. Mark Musa. New York: Penguin, 2002.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov. Trans. Susan McReynolds Oddo. New York: Norton, 2011.

Ehrman, Bart. God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question—Why We Suffer. New York: HarperOne, 2008.

Euripides. Euripides V: Electra, The Phoenician Women, The Bacchae. Ed. David Grene and Richmond Lattimore. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1969.

Hitchens, Christopher. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. New York: Twelve, 2009.

Milton, John. Paradise Lost. New York: Norton, 2004.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Prometheus Unbound. London: Black Box Press, 2007.

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