Brian McPherson is the Adult Ed Coordinator.  Contact Brian at wbmcp@hotmail.com with questions or ideas you have for Adult Ed.

 

Adult Topics of Interest Winter/Spring 2018 Schedule

Classes begin at 9:00 am in the UUCV Board Room.  Beginning in January the adult RE Sunday morning classes will explore ideas put forth in Anthony Kronman’s book, Confessions of a Born-Again Pagan. We will have separate discussions on each of the four sections of the book, those being: Gratitude, Pride, Salvation, and Joy. Although the discussion leaders will use Kronman’s book as a starting point, you need not to have read his book in order to participate in the discussion.

Kronman addresses the meaning of religion today.  He cannot accept the views of the “true believers,” those who believe in the God of Abraham and his prophets, but he also rejects the “self-professed” atheists who, as he says, mock the true believers.  Kronman starts with Plato and Aristotle and surveys centuries of Western thought to arrive at what he calls a born-again pagan view of a God that is not separate from this world. Kronman argues that only such an understanding of God makes sense.

Jan 21 – Gratitude  What is Gratitude? Should we be grateful to God or the Universe? In what ways does gratitude benefit the grateful person? Could gratitude be good for one’s soul? What is the connection between gratitude, love, and creativity?  How does gratitude contribute to our sense of being “at home” in the world?  Or does it? How has the western “Christian” view and doctrine of gratitude conditioned us?

Feb 4 – Pride  The much revered Christian philosopher and saint, Saint Augustine, considered pride the most deadly sin, but Aristotle considered pride a virtue. What is the basis for this disparity? Are these philosophers talking about the same thing? Are there different kinds or levels of pride? If so, how do you determine which pride is good and which pride is bad? What, if anything, should we be prideful about?

Feb 18 – Salvation  Some say that we live in an age of disenchantment. This world, this life is an illusion and we are just passing through waiting for admission to eternity.  If we give up the God of Christianity, must we also give up the notion of eternity and fall into nihilism? Born-again paganism may offer a solution by connecting the insights of Aristotle with our experience of the modern world and our sense of the divine.

March 11 – Joy  What brings us joy? Are there different kinds of joy? Can knowledge and science be a source of understanding that leads to joy? Do works of art that transcend rational understanding provide joy if we let ourselves get “lost” in them? Can relationships engender joy? Would such joy differ from love? We will discuss some of Kronman’s beliefs about joy and add our own.

 

Topics and dates for additional Sunday morning adult RE classes include the following:

March 25 – The Swerve, Lucretius and the Nature of Things  In his book, The Swerve, Stephen Greenblatt brings the past to vivid life in the exploration of one of the most influential works of literature of all time.  Greenblatt writes about the rediscovery in the 15th Century of Lucretius’ book, On the Nature of Things.  This book, or rather poem, written in 100 BCE, may be the catalyst that moved Western civilization towards humanism. Join us for an exploration of this important work that in many ways may still be relevant to our own time.

April 8 – Stoicism   Zeno of Citium founded the philosophy of stoicism in Athens in the 3rd century BCE. Stoics believe that emotions cause errors of judgment and that one must develop will power to control one’s emotions. The Modern Stoicism movement has gained prominence since the publication of Lawrence Becker’s book A New Stoicism, in 1997. We will discuss how this movement has molded the ancient philosophy to fit modern times and what, if any, are the connections between modern stoicism and UU principles.

April 22 – Epistemology  How do we know what we know? What is the difference between knowledge and belief? How do we determine whether something is true? What justification(s) can we use to establish the truth of a belief? Can we identify basic beliefs? Are some beliefs holistic in a way that they depend upon other beliefs? We will explore these ideas and perhaps discuss our personal beliefs, and their foundations.

May 6 – The Historical Jesus and Christian Faith  Critical biblical scholarship has come a long way in recent years to give us a new way to see Jesus that radically departs from the literal, traditional reading of the New Testament.  We will examine some of the writings of Bart Ehrman, Marcus Borg, John Shelby Spong and others as we discuss the myths and contradictions in the Jesus stories. What can we know for sure and what role does faith play in our understanding? How should we as Unitarian Universalists read and interpret the Jesus stories?

May 20 – Dreams  The Do you remember your dreams? Do you try to analyze them? Psychologists, beginning with Freud and Jung, have put forth a number of different theories on the nature of dreams and their significance in relationship to our desires, our personal problems, and recent memories. Is there a proper way to interpret dreams? Should we write down our dreams upon waking? Should we be making significant decisions based upon our interpretation of a dream?

 

UUCV also offers the following Adult programs:

Quarterly –  Join your community in rhythm with Dani Fiore leading a community Drum Circle

The first Tuesday of the month – Meditation with Bhante 

 

 

Please contact the Director of Lifespan Faith Development at re@uucv.net in advance if you are in need of childcare. We want everyone who is interested to be able to participate.