Saturday, November 7, 2015

Philosophy Professor, Dr. Ernest Wolf-Gazo, Gives a Lecture about Monotheism

By Kenzi Bahgat, Farida ElSersawi, and Lobna El Shirbiny

(Cairo, Egypt) On Wednesday, November 4th, the Philosophy Professor, Dr. Ernest Wolf-Gazo, hosted a lecture on "Monotheism" where the lecture took place at The American University of Cairo.

The lecture focused on Max Weber and the world historical significance of ancient Egyptian monotheism. It also discussed how this affects individuals’ actions today.

Dr. Gazo has been a Philosophy professor at AUC for twenty-four years. He is well-known for his volume on, A.N.Whitehead -- Einfuehrung in seine Kosmologie, which is a basic text at the German Universities.

The event was co-organized by the Office of Student Development (OSD) and the Philosophy Club. The Philosophy Club is known for organising the series of lectures addressing various philosophical topics since 1992.

Before the speech, the audience, who were about 50 people, had to fill a signup sheet with their information based on the registration. The Executive Assistant to Chair, Aya Morsi, and the Secretary, Amanda Naguib, were responsible for organizing the events and distributing giveaways, which were zipper bags with the logo of the Philosophy Department.

Monotheism focuses on one principle, which is that there is one deity that does everything. This goes back to Akhenaten, the pharaoh who established monotheism by making Aten, the Sun God, the only God.

Dr. Gazo started off by explaining how monotheism could be understood within the context of ancient history. The speaker mentioned that one principle affects our actions.

Monotheism is "the emergence of formal rationality," he said. This doesn't mean that polytheism is irrational. When asked about this, he explained how in ancient history, there was a division of labor among the Gods whether it was in Egypt, Greece, or any other country.
"They’re not irrational, they have a practical intelligence," he explained.

Throughout his lecture, Dr. Gazo was focusing on how religion affects individuals’ actions rather than arguing about whether religion makes sense or not.
"We need it today more than ever before," he said.

"It was a little bit complicated, but overall useful. I have enjoyed it to an extent, but it was so hard for me to understand and comprehend completely," said Ahmed El Semary, a Mechanical Engineering student at AUC.

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