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Siegal Lifelong Learning

Religion + Philosophy

Religion + Philosophy

Mondays, March 20-May 8 | 10:30 a.m.-noon


Joe KonenLeader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


This book offers us a vehicle for a nuanced understanding of Islam. Carla Power, a Western reporter who grew up in several predominantly Muslim countries, writes of her dialogues with prominent India-born and now London-based Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi. The dialogue enlightens us on a nonviolent understanding of Islam. The sheik shows us how he distinguishes between culture and politics on the one hand and religion and spirituality on the other. Book: Carla Power (2015), If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran


South Franklin Circle | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >



Thursdays, March 30-May 18 | 1:30-3 p.m.


Jim Lane, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


Delve into the realms of science, mythology, spirituality, appearance, illusion and reality as they apply to our place in the natural world. The two novels we will read explore profound personal, societal, philosophical and religious questions.  Books: Siddhartha, Herman Hesse; Ishmael, Daniel Quinn


Laurel Lake Community Room | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Thursdays, March 23-May 11 | 10:30 a.m.-noon


Ted Smith, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


Between mid-400 AD to mid-600 AD, Ireland practiced a unique type of Christianity. After the fall of Rome there was no central authority directing the practice of religion, no official date as to when Easter was to be observed each year, etc. The Irish embraced Christianity (without bloodshed) while still upholding their Druidic traditions. Irish men and women were both priests and bishops alike. Humanity was seen as fundamentally good, an integral part of God’s creation. All of this was contrary to the writings of Augustine of Hippo, that men were born into sin, adopted as the official positions of Christendom. The Synod of Whitby in 664 AD favored the disciple Peter as the rock of the church as opposed to the disciple John, remembered as “listening for the heartbeat of God”. What would Christianity be like today if the Synod had decided differently?  Book: Listening for the Heartbeat of God, A Celtic Spirituality, The Reverend Dr. J. Philip Newell 


Hamlet Village | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >


Tuesdays, May 2-23 | 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Ezra Blaustein, Lecturer in Lifelong Learning, CWRU


A little over a hundred years ago, an enormous cache of documents (called a geniza) was found in a Cairo synagogue. This discovery, known as the "Cairo Geniza," provides a window into Jewish life in Egypt and across the southern Mediterranean rim in the 10th through 13th centuries, giving us unparalleled access to the private, commercial, and intellectual lives of the Jews. This course will survey family and communal structures, it will look at the Jewish participation in trade with India and other destinations, and it will examine the intellectual achievements of Jewish leaders such as Maimonides.

Landmark Centre | Members: $60; Nonmembers: $75 | REGISTER >