The Written World

If you’re not a regular listener of BBC Radio 4’s program(me) “In Our Time,” you may have missed the series of five episodes that just aired on the history of the writing and how it has shaped intellectual history. Of particular interest to my readers will be episode three, how the invention of writing influenced the spread of religion.

The five episodes cover:

  1. How making signs on clay, wood or parchment enabled the development of human culture.
  2. The impact of the invention of the book.
  3. How the invention of writing influenced the spread of religion.
  4. How the written word, originally used for accountancy, gave rise to human literature.
  5. How the invention of writing made the scientific revolution of the Enlightenment possible.

Listen to the five parts before they’re gone. (The BBC doesn’t usually archive programs for long.)