The hundred and fifty years before the Protestant Reformation used to be seen as a period of religious decadence. More recently, they have been understood as an era of rather anxious piety, in which the faithful purchased indulgences, went on pilgrimage, and engaged in a variety of superstitious practices to ward off the ills of a violent society. Yet the prominence of blood in the cult, prayers, art, and theological disputes characteristic of the period has been ignored.
John Norris Bahcall, Richard Black Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study, recipient of the National Medal of Science, president of the American Astronomical Society, President-Elect of the American Physical Society, and a prominent leader of the astrophysics community, passed away on August 17, 2005, in New York City. He was 70.
Pierre Deligne, Professor Emeritus, School of Mathematics. On the occasion of the sixty-first birthday of Pierre Deligne, the School of Mathematics will be hosting a four-day conference, "Geometry and Arithmetic" from October 17 to October 20, 2005.