Adult Education Archive

Three months of Adult Education classes and recordings. Contact the office for earlier classes.


August 2019


August 11 | Jim McPherson

Political and Constitutional Crises in Historical Perspective, Pt. 2

Jim McPherson returns to continue his analysis of times of existential crisis in American history. If you missed Part One on July 21, he will summarize and then continue with the twentieth century. There is so much to cover in this riveting history – you don’t want to miss this special addition to our Adult Education schedule.

[Recording will be posted soon.]

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August 4 | Cecelia Hodges, Noel Werner & Friends

Before Thy Throne of Grace: A Celebration of Spirituals and Poetry

Come enjoy the liberating power and uplift of African-American spirituals, interspersed with readings from a classic of American poetry, God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse, by James Weldon Johnson. Best known as the author of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” Johnson was also an author, educator, lawyer, poet, diplomat, newspaper columnist, songwriter and civil rights activist. In 1927, he wrote and published God’s Trombones as a tribute to the old-time preachers he had heard in his childhood. Noel has paired dramatic readings of the poems by Cecelia Hodges with spirituals which we will sing together in response to hearing these engaging and inspiring verses.

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JULY 2019


July 28 | Keith Whittington

Are We in a Constitutional Crisis?

American political rhetoric is increasingly filled with cries of constitutional crisis. What does constitutional crisis even mean, and how would we know if we were in one? When does political dysfunction, disagreement and scandal signal more fundamental problems with the constitutional order, and what are the dangers of declaring a crisis prematurely?

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July 21 | Jim McPherson

Political and Constitutional Crises in Historical Perspective

In the midst of a political crisis, people tend to think nothing could be worse. Join us for a look back at previous occasions in American history when democracy, or even national survival, was threatened, perhaps an even greater threat than today.

This session was not recorded.

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July 14 | Larry Stratton

Storm Center Report: Ethical Reflections on the US Supreme Court’s 2018-19 Term

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once observed that the U.S. Supreme Court is a “storm center” of political controversy. This session will focus on several of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions including: census questions about citizenship; the constitutional status of religious symbols on public memorials; gerrymandering of legislative districts; out-of-state wine purchases; double jeopardy in state and federal prosecutions; and other critical cases.

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July 7 | Rhodri Lewis

Shakespeare and the Bible

Writing before the publication of the King James Version of the Bible, William Shakespeare relied for the most part on the Geneva Bible. Rather than turning to scripture as a source of truth or meaning as earlier dramatists did, we find him treating scripture like any other source. Come learn how Shakespeare explores the tensions about the authority of scripture that dominated so much of public life in the century after Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses.

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JUNE 2019


June 30 | Paul Rorem

An Introduction to St. Augustine’s Confessions

The Confessions of St. Augustine, one of the most influential books of the Christian tradition, recalls important events of the author’s life, including: life with his devoutly Christian mother in rural 4th century Algeria; his struggles with human desires, his eventual renunciation of secular ambitions and marriage; and the recovery of his Christian faith.

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June 16 | Eileen Reeves

Galileo on Science and Scripture

In 1615 Galileo Galilei’s Letter to the Grand Duchess Cristina argued for the compatibility of science and scripture, or at least for the relative autonomy of each body of knowledge. Come learn more about Galileo’s treatise and discuss the various ways in which the relationship of science and scripture is treated in the present day.

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