In his book Civilization and its Discontents, Sigmund Freud critiqued what he called ‘palliative measures’, the strategies we use to help us avoid the miseries of life. The four he focused upon were, intoxicants, art or aesthetics, sexual love, and religion. He was perhaps most critical of religion as an illusion and a strategy used to escape from reality. These talks are reflections on the four palliatives and an invitation to think about religion in a new light, not as an escape from, but rather an entry into reality.


In this series, we dig into stories of deadly romance in the Bible.  We examine stories such as that of Samson and Delilah, a tragic tale of seduction, intrigue, and human frailty.  These stories are familiar tales that have shaped many of the central ways we think about love and how it can go right and, sometimes, oh so wrong.  We discuss the traditional interpretations of these stories that often put the female in the role of victimizer and contribute to an ongoing cultural suspicion of women and their sexuality.  But there might be more to these stories than meet the eye, and perhaps it is not a given to affirm the danger of female sexuality, but to invite us to think more deeply and expansively about the nature of human relations altogether.