The History and Political Science lecture series hosted a book signing and lecture from history professor Ed Mazza, Ph.D., with his book, “The Scholastics & The Jews: Coexistence, Conversion and the Medieval Origins of Tolerance.” The event was held on Thursday, Oct. 26, in Wilden 119.
Mazza has been a teacher for 15 years, including 12 years at Azusa Pacific University. He wanted to write this book to create awareness.
“I really felt strongly that the topic needed to get out there,” Mazza said. “In the middle ages, they took a certain approach to good and evil, to love and hate, and I thought that it might be good to get that message out there.”.
His inspiration was derived from all the anti-Christian scholarship that he was exposed to when in graduate school.
“I was wondering, ‘Were they really giving me the whole story?’ So I wanted to go and do my own original research. I learned Latin, I learned French, and I went and looked at the sources and I saw that their is more than one way to look at history,” Mazza said. “There are so many books and articles about the bad things that Christians did, I was wondering ‘Was there any good that they might have done?’ Trying to bring Christ to Jews and trying to bring Christ to Muslims seems on the face of it a good thing to me. Of course, I’m speaking as a Christian but I wanted to go in there and see ‘Was there any evidence to back that up from a history point of view?'”
Aubrie Cok, a freshman nursing major, is in Mazza’s World Civilization class and attended the event. Cok said Mazza has talked about his book in class, which is why she went to the event.
Kristian Kidd also had Mazza as a teacher. Kidd is a junior history major and he came because Mazza is one of his favorite professors.
“I love the topic. History is my thing, my jam,” Kidd said. “I really enjoy topics like this. This is right up my alley and I really wanted to come and check it out.”
Kidd said this lecture and book will be very helpful for him and others to know about certain historical events.
“I learned that our perception of history are always bias because they are always from the context in which we live,” Kidd said. “But it is very hard for us to go back through the corridors of history and look at things as they happened, when they happened, and through that context, we have a 21st Century mindset and there’s nothing wrong with it but that’s just the mindset we have and we are fooling ourselves if we think we can shake free of that.”
All photos courtesy of Cole Stevens