January 11 -March 22
10:00 – 11:30 am: Morning Module
The Great Courses Video Series: Gnosticism: Nag Hammadi to Gospel of Judas
Amy Roller Library; Facilitated by Yvonne Bluth
The three centuries following the death of Jesus were a momentous and turbulent era in Western religious thought. During this time, as Christianity began its massive ascent, distancing itself from paganism and Judaism, other important currents of religious belief appeared, in what became an epoch of intense theological conflict and debate.
In this age of burgeoning faith, few if any influences on the theological landscape were as significant or far-reaching as the religious movements known to us as Gnosticism. Gnosticism, one of the most fascinating and perplexing phenomena in Western religious history, intersected deeply with early Christian thought, sparking religious ideologies that competed with the theological thinking that came to define Christianity. And, though Gnosticism was eventually branded as heretical by the emerging orthodox church, the church formed many of its most central doctrines in response to Gnostic ideas.
But what was Gnosticism? Why did its ideas and mythology appeal to so many people? How did it influence other faiths, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam? And why did Christianity— while showing clear signs of Gnostic influence—condemn it?
This course takes on these provocative questions and more, in a narrative that unfolds as an enthralling religious detective story—penetrating the mysteries of a stigmatized yet profoundly important legacy of religious thought. (From Great Courses Website)
12:00 NOON LUNCH $4.00 Sponsler Hall
12:30 – 2:00 pm: Afternoon Module
CONNECTING THREADS: JANUARY 11-FEBRUARY 22
A seven week trip around the world to witness the incredible work The Disciples of Christ and the United Church of Christ are doing through Global Ministries.
10-20 minute videos, will be combined with scripture references, a study guide and online resources. For more information see globalministries.org
Discover new and surprising ways to understand Global Ministries’ work. The inspiring stories of missionaries told here, portray the direction of our ministry with our global partners.
JANUARY 11: Global Ministries Overview
JANUARY 18: Beneath African Skies (Africa)
JANUARY 25: Mountains in the Wind
(East Asia and the Pacific)
FEBRUARY 1: Out of the Shadows, Into the Sun
(Latin America & Caribbean)
FEBRUARY 8: Lilies Among Thorns
(Middle East and Europe)
Against the Current, Toward the Light
FEBRUARY 22: Be a Global Mission Church
(God’s Surprise: The New Faces of Mission)
Our final 5 weeks; February 29—March 22, we will be exploring UCC missions and partnerships
MINDFULNESS AND PRAYER
PRAYER: Prayer has been an essential part of Christianity since its earliest days. Prayer is an integral element of the Christian faith and permeates all forms of Christian worship. Prayer in Christianity is the tradition of communicating with God. During the Middle Ages, the monastic traditions of both Western and Eastern Christianity moved beyond vocal prayer to Christian meditation; a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of God. Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts (such as a bible passage) and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God.
MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS: For thousands of years, human beings have practiced refined techniques of mental focusing, designed to change the habitual conditioning of the mind. Central to many spiritual and philosophical traditions and known in English as “Meditation”, or “Mindfulness” these practices are considered a major means for enhanced awareness
SPRING SESSION 2017
SHORT STORY THEOLOGY: CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR STORIES WE READ
The Displaced Person by Flannery O’Connor
TO READ SHORT STORY CLICK ON LINK BELOW
VIDEO: From the PBS program “The American Short Story” starring Irene Worth, John Houseman, Robert Earl Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Lane Smith & Shirley Stoler. Click on link below
Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin
Sonny’s Blues” (1957) is the story of a young jazz musician (Sonny). Set in Harlem, like many of Baldwin’s other work, “Sonny’s Blues” is a constant struggle between light and darkness, failure and redemption.
The Guest by Albert Camus
“The Guest” (1957) Camus employs this short tale to reflect upon issues raised by the political situation in French North Africa. In particular, he explores the problem of refusing to take sides in the colonial conflict in Algeria, something that mirrors Camus’ own non-aligned stance which he had set out in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
Read “The Guest”: the guest by albert camus