The aim of all courses is to foster self-consciousness in an individual’s response to the world in which he or she lives. The necessity for a comprehensive context to the human struggle led to the creation of a series of theological and cultural courses, known as the Basic Curriculum, which was presented in the Global Academy. Each course usually has five sessions with a lecture and seminar or workshop in each. Team teaching is the method of presentation with a strong emphasis on group participation.
Religious Studies I focuses on the basic spirit questions in the post-modern world: problems of authentic self-understanding, decision making, vocational significance, human relations and creative participation in civilization. The intent of the course is to study the shifts that occurred in the 20th century and enable participants to think through who they are and how they can involve themselves in the present age. (Note: 1972 records indicate that 400,000 people in North America had participated in RS-I and 3,000 outside North America.). See RSI/PLC page for talks and seminars.
A study in the theology of the Christian Church fathers in the milieus of their eras. Writings by church leaders who responded to changing times are scrutinized for their Christian thought which sustained community during the ancient, medieval and modern periods. The course is to expose the timelessness of the Word in historical metaphors and to dramatize the faithful response of the Church. It intends to elicit the decision to live in radical dialogue with the theological wisdom and the revolutionary engagement of the early Church. The original outlines for each lecture are here.
A study of the witness of the Word in history made by the early Christian community. The perspectives that John, the Synoptic writers and Paul present toward the event of Jesus Christ are examined, together with the basic cultural heritage of Greek, Hebraic and Gnostic lifestyles. Rational Objective: To deepen the contemporary grounding of the gospel through exposing the radicality of the early Christian writings. Existential Aim: To appraise 20th-century Gnosticism and stoicism and to beckon participants to the joyous abandonment of life in the Word. The original outlines for the four lectures are here.
A study of the understanding of God as known to the people of Israel. The life stance taken in the wisdom writings, the prophetic pronouncements and the covenant law of the Old Testament are probed in the context of the historical background of the ancient world. Rational Objective: To grasp the covenant of the faithful people with God acting in history and to understand the characteristics of an obedient response. Existential Aim: To be seized by the radical demand of obedience to God. The original outlines of the four lectures are here.
Through an analysis of the new image of the Church as mission in history, the interrelatedness of the parish, local congregation, and cadre are examined in depth. Practical models are forged in workshops on witnessing and justing love, worship, study and enabling discipline. The intent is to bring clarity to the ultimate purpose of the Church, i.e., to increase love of God, neighbor and self. The original outlines of the four lectures are here.
An analysis of the people of God in history as they are manifested in Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, nationalism, communism and humanism. Papers explore issues and dilemmas of spirit leaders in the universal human community. Rational Objective: To understand how religions can work on the issues facing the universal people of God. Existential Aim: To struggle with the problems of sociologically organizing the people of God. The original outlines of the four lectures are here.
Initially called World Religious, the original outlines of the four lectures are here. The Ur Images course is about analyzing and celebrating the profound response to life viewed through the primal images and depth experiences of the different people of the Earth. The word “UR” comes from the mythology surrounding a city in ancient Sumer known for its cultural diversity. This course is about modes of standing before the awe that are beyond race, religion, and cultural forms. Ur Images is out to share a method for analyzing profound consciousness, and build images that form a basis fo future mythology.
Indian Lecture by David McClesky
Other talks and resources: