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San Francisco

How Religion Shaped the Western World

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The crisis of faith inspired by Nebuchadnezzar having dragged most of the Jewish political and religious leaders to Babylon six centuries before Jesus had a major impact on the West, as it reshaped ideas about God, life after death, and the end of the world that have been culturally influential ever since. Kohanski delves in detail into how the chaotic political era from Alexander the Great to the Maccabees and the Romans, and how ideas derived from Plato, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the apocalyptic Book of Daniel, ended up focusing half of humanity on monotheistic attempts to answer our fundamental questions about life. But not without paying a high price for our efforts.

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

This program has 2 types of tickets available: In-person and online-only. Please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

Safety Protocols for in-person attendance:

  • We follow best practices laid out by the CDC and state and local guidelines.
  • We strongly recommend vaccination for guests, staff, and volunteers.
  • Masks are strongly encouraged while indoors (if you do not have one and would like one, inquire at our front desk for a complimentary mask).
  • We reserve the right to require different rules for specific events as necessary.

Our LEED Gold-certified building is designed to cool with outside air, using digitally controlled moveable windows and large ceiling fans. We are deploying additional HEPA filters inside to scrub the air. This is all in addition to increased cleaning of surfaces throughout the building.

We welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our online programming.

A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

Photo courtesy the speaker.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Tue, Apr 4 / 5:30 pm PDT

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Daniel Kohanski

Daniel Kohanski

Computer Programmer; Retired Foreign Service Officer; Author, A God of Our Invention: How Religion Shaped the Western World

Image - George Hammond

In Conversation with George Hammond

Author, Conversations With Socrates


5 p.m. doors open & check-in
5:30–6:30 p.m. program
(all times PDT)