Shannon Grimes, Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies, will deliver a Distinguished Faculty Lecture
Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies Shannon Grimes will deliver Meredith College’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 7 p.m. at Jones Auditorium.
Seating will be limited in the Jones Auditorium and a live streaming option will be available. To visit infotogo.meredith.edu/convocation/faculty_lecture for details on participation options.
The subject of the Distinguished Faculty Lecture is “Becoming Gold: Alchemy, Art and Religion in Roman Egypt.” Alchemy is generally considered a pseudo-science effort transmute lead into gold. In his lecture, Grimes will explore the origins of alchemy in Roman Egypt and uncover a richer and more complex picture of alchemy, which is rooted in the craft traditions of ancient Egyptian temples where the making of gold was associated with the making of gods.
She will discuss how the religious elements of alchemy arise from the production and “activation” of divine statues. These temple craft traditions were disrupted in Roman times due to the establishment of new trade networks in Egypt, and were further transformed as alchemical recipes were reinvented in Christian and Islamic contexts, but an alchemical connection between gold and God remained.
Grimes received his doctorate in religious studies from Syracuse University in 2006 and began teaching at Meredith College the same year. For several years, she served as chair of the Department of Religious and Ethical Studies. She has also won awards at Meredith College for her teaching and research. While Grimes teaches a wide range of courses – from biblical studies and world religions to environmental ethics – her main area of expertise is religion. and philosophy in the Greco-Roman world. She is particularly interested in ancient visions of nature and the cosmos, and the links between science, magic and religion. She is the author of several articles on ancient alchemy and her first book, Becoming Gold: Zosimos of Panopolis and the Alchemical Arts in Roman Egyptwas published by Rubedo Press in 2018.
The Distinguished Faculty Lecture was designed to represent a significant research achievement by a Meredith faculty member. The first lecture was presented in 1964 by English teacher Norma Rose.
This event is free and open to the public. The conference counts as a general education academic/cultural event for Meredith students. The Distinguished Faculty Lecture is sponsored by the Meredith Convening Committee.