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Spring 2013 Personal Theology Seminars

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Sundays, September through May at 10:00 a.m. in the Fireside Room


The Personal Theology program was founded by Bernard Loomer, former Dean of the Divinity School, University of Chicago and leader in developing Process Theology. Weekly, participants listen to and dialogue with theological and spiritual leaders, as well as present their own topics and spiritual journeys. Seminars fulfill the UU values of drawing inspiration from diverse traditions and deepening the spiritual life. This program is supported by contributions from those attending. Coordinator: Martha Helming assisted by Lois Gilbert, Barbara Rockhold, and Gloria Merrill.


Spring 2013 Seminars


Personal Theology


February 3:
Bill Garrett, Ph.D., has taught courses in the history of ideas at John F. Kennedy University, San Francisco State University, University of California at Berkeley, and the Fromm Institute.  He is the author of Bad Karma: Thinking Twice about Reincarnation and Marie Stopes: Feminist, Eroticist, Eugenicist.  “Emerson’s Legacy to Unitarian Universalists Today.”


February 10:
Bill Garrett, “Unitarianism, Transcendentalism, and Emerson’s Religious Realism.


February 17:
Bill Garrett, “Emerson’s Unitarian Influence on the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.


February 24:
Nancy and Leonard Becker, co-founders of Sacred Sites International.  “Sacred Sites and the Spirit of Place.”  What sacred sites are about: symbolic landscape, geomancy, sacred geography, the different perspectives of native and non-native people; how to explore the sacredness of place in every day life.


March 3:
Helene Knox, Ph.D. and M.Div. from Starr King School for the Ministry, specializing in UU history.  “The Personal Theology of William Ellery Channing.”  The Rev. Channing was the most respected and beloved minister in early 19th century Boston, and with his sermon, “Unitarian Christianity,” announced the break of the liberal wing of the Congregationalists from their Calvinist roots.


March 10:
Rabbi Harry Manhoff, graduate from Yale, Columbia, and University of California at Santa Barbara; Rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom in San Leandro.  “Meet Jesus’ Jewish Friends.”


March 17:
Sheri Prud’homme, graduate and associate faculty member of Starr King School for the Ministry, and Religious Education consultant at UUCB.  Sheri will speak on the implications of Starr King’s theology for Unitarian Universalism’s position in the field  of environmental ethics,   “Harmonies of Natural Beauty: Exploring Thomas Starr King’s  Nature Sermons.”


March 24:
Rev. Cathleen Cox, UUCB Community Minister.  “Jesus, Buddha, and the Nature of Enlightenment.”


March 31:
Easter (no program).  Enjoy the pancake breakfast and the Easter egg hunt.


April 7:
Helene Knox, “The Personal Theology of Theodore Parker.”  The radical thinker, Rev. Parker, was inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who himself had learned much from William Ellery Channing.


April 14:
Alex Pappas, former teacher of World Religions at the College of Alameda and student of the ancient traditions.  “The Islamic Esoteric Alevi’s Tradition Contrasted with India’s Vedanta.”  Part I.  Little is known in the West of the Alevi (“ah-leh- vee”) tradition of Islam.  Alevi esoteric aspects will be contrasted with the highest teaching of India – the non-dual Vedanta.


April 21:
Robert Rees, PhD., retired professor from University of California at Los Angeles, professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley; Mormon Bishop, and advocate for LDS homosexuals, “What do Mormons Believe?”


April 28:
Alex Pappas, “The Islamic Esoteric Alevi Tradition Contrasted with India’s Vedanta.”  Part II.


May 5:
Rev. Adél Nagy, Transylvania minister, 2012-13 Balázs Scholar at Starr King School for the Ministry.  “A Unitarian from 450-Year-Old Transylvania in Today’s World: A personal perspective.”


 May 12:
Barbara Bye, M.A. in Arts and Consciousness from John F. Kennedy University, and student of classical Indian dance for 25 years.  She creates embodied movement, combining spoken word and gesture.  “From the Great Mother to our own Mothers in Prose and Poetry and Expressive Mudras and Gestures.”


May 19:
Evaluation and Planning Day.  What do you want us to explore in the future?  Who do you want us to invite?

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