Murray State University Department of History Spring Lecture Series

For Immediate Release

January 21, 2021

MURRAY, KY – The Calloway County Public Library is pleased to announce that the sixth annual Murray State University Department of History Spring Lecture Series will be presented this year in a virtual format. The first of the three-part virtual series is scheduled for Sunday, February 7, 2:00 pm, via Zoom and will feature Dr. Matthew Robertson’s lecture entitled Ancient Medicines in Tumultuous Times: A Look Back at the History and Science of Ayurveda. According to Dr. Matthew Robertson, “Throughout 2020, we have all developed a heightened “medicalized” understanding of ourselves, our social habits, and our responsibility to others. A renewed awareness of the disease, it turns out, can have a huge impact on the ways that we act and think in the world, from handshakes to grocery trips to work meetings and beyond. As we navigate the growing normalcy of these changes, the histories and logics of the world’s ancient medical traditions—and the ways that past peoples responded to similar quandaries—take on renewed interest.” This presentation traces the early history and core features of Ayurveda, India’s “Science of Life.” Ayurveda first developed over two-thousand years ago in a tumultuous time of foreign invasions, famines, urban-rural tensions, upstart political dynasties, new religious movements, and other sources of social upheaval. Confronting a world thus “out of balance,” the earliest Ayurvedic physicians forwarded a radical understanding of human health that was rooted in ancient India’s unique manner of thinking about diet and yoga. The result was a medical system that has a surprising resonance with the present and offers fruitful insights toward understanding our place in an increasingly complex world.

Dr. Matthew Robertson is a lecturer and coordinator of the Religious Studies minor program at Murray State University. The lecture is presented free of charge, and all interested community members are invited to attend at  More information regarding the three-part lecture series, including dates, speakers, and topics, may be found by visiting CCPL’s online calendar at or by calling (270) 753-2288.

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