I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 16-23 April 2021

The Latin American History Podcast. In The Conquest of Mexico Part 9, Max Sarjeant continues the story beyond the usual end point of the Spanish retaking of Tenochtitlan. Even though they had Tenochtitlan under their control, the Spanish troops did not occupy it immediately, preferring to camp at another location not far away (perhaps all that rampant smallpox turned them off a bit). But eventually they moved into Tenochtitlan, destroying most of the temples in order to construct their own buildings on top of them. They then had to build a stable government, while keeping his own troops and the defeated Aztecs happy, while fending off rival conquistadors.

Big Ideas (ABC) During Trump’s presidency, we saw again the craziness of fear, hysteria, and political grandstanding. In Joe McCarthy and the politics of fear, historian Richard Norton Smith talks about the political rise of Joe McCarthy, his fall and his toxic legacy. It’s an interesting podcast- I learned a lot about Joe McCarthy.

In Our Time: Religion. Arianism was an early form of Christianity that believed that the Son of God was not co-eternal (and therefore equal) with God the Father. (Be careful- it’s not Aryanism, which is the belief in white supremacy.) It was quite a common belief amongst early Christians, but during the Council of Nicea in 325 it was declared to be heresy. However, it continued amongst the Goths and Visi-Goths, and still lingers today amongst Unitarians and (yikes!) the Church of the Latter Day Saints. This episode Arianism has three historians contextualizing Arianism within early Christianity and the Eastern and Western Roman Empires.

Not content with listening to one arcane program, I then listened to a previous 2007 In Our Time episode on The Nicene Creed. It was the Nicene Creed that finally marked the end of my mainstream Christianity, when I found myself unable to say even a single sentence with any conviction. This program covered much the same territory as the Arianism one, albeit with different historians, and I must confess that angels dancing on pin heads did come to mind.

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