Post-Holocaust Theology

The incomprehensible industrialized genocide of the Jews of Europe left millions of people, Jewish and Christian, with this question: What happened to the God of History during the Holocaust? Jewish and Christian theologians have attempted to answer this question by seeking to reconsider the God of Monotheism who supposedly participates in human affairs. The results: seven redefinitions of the Judeo-Christian deity. One of them might be yours. Required text: The Impact of the Holocaust on Jewish Theology, Steven Katz, ISBN: 10:0814748066 or 13: 978-0814748060.

Positive Psychology at the Movies

Positive psychology studies the nature and development of positive human strengths and experiences. In this course we will use the concepts of positive psychology as a lens through which to interpret several full-length films and a wide range of film clips. Discussion will focus on what constitutes the good and meaningful life and on ways to enhance our personal life experiences.

Dale Wachowiak (dalegw@gmail.com), PhD, is a retired professor and counseling psychologist with an ongoing interest in positive psychology and its applications in a variety of settings.

The History of Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is a paradigm for ideologically motivated hatred and social injustice. We shall examine its causes and nature from the New Testament to modern times, and discuss measures to insulate ourselves and our society from its poison. These measures will include the positive aspects of Jewish culture, and the contributions Jews have made to many human societies.

Creating Photos and Poetry to Explore “Wabi-Sabi”: the Japanese Art of Everyday Life

Wabi and sabi are Japanese concepts that underlie a mindful approach to everyday life. There is reverence for impermanence, imperfection, ageing - beauty which is simple, unpretentious, austere-elegant, natural and unpolished, tranquil. First we’ll explore what wabi-sabi means through readings and published artwork. Then we’ll experiment with creating our own photographs to illustrate wabi-sabi and write simple haiku-like verses to go with the photos. Required text: Leonard Koren, Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers, ISBN: 1-88065-612-4.

European Cave Art: Earliest Evidence of Religion, Culture and Science

Viewing ice age art of French sites such as Chauvet and Lascaux, we will discuss recent interpretations of these earliest records of human culture, religion, and scientific knowledge, which have revolutionized our understanding of human development. In the process, we hope to share in discerning how we have changed during the past 35,000 years and how we have stayed the same.

What We Leave Behind: Making Our Mark

As we enter our reflective years, what experiences have most defined us? In this youth-oriented society, it is we elders who give hope, wisdom and perspective to the world. This class will help you decide how to pass on your hard-earned values, using the technology now available such as tapes, videos and digital storage. We’ll discuss story-telling, grandparenting, self-publishing, documents such as the Ethical Will, and how to go about preparing your own personal life legacy.

Men Exploring Meaning During Life Transitions: From Doubt to Self-Confidence and Optimism

Men face many challenges as they enter retirement. Some of these include aging (especially at decade points), illnesLearning Circle insignias (family or self ) or death in family, loss of career, diminished power, diminished libido, distance from family and friends, as well as other changes. Just bring your life circumstances and stories.

Living with Hearing Loss

How did we discover our own or a loved one’s hearing loss? What solutions have we Learning Circle insigniaattempted? We’ll share experiences and ideas for recognizing hearing loss and coping with it, focusing on different settings (home, restaurants, driving, etc), relationships, and challenges.

Interpretive Writing About Life’s Experiences

Participants will write about what has been most important in their lives, for their grandchildren and future generations. Your writing could take the form of memoir, narrative or poetry, highlighting reflections on life, significant and/or humorous events, lessons learned, values, or beliefs.  We will use collaborative exercises to stimulate individual reflection and group discussion, to identify what you want to say and how to say it, with one or more finished pieces of writing as the goal.

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