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Coming Online Events

One-day ONSITE seminar tuition is $125 per person. Any contribution above $125 is classified as a tax-deductible donation. Special events have differing tuition. Scholarships are available for teachers and students. Or, become a subscriber in the Community of Lifelong Learners for $40 per month for unlimited attendance at on-site and online events, or $25 per month for only ONLINE events. 
Subscribers are responsible for ordering their own books. Please inquire via email here.

Online Weekly Intensives

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Online Seminar Series - NOW MEETING

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Tuesday Evenings - August 30 - December 20, 2022

Moby-Dick or, The Whale was published in 1851 by American writer Herman Melville. The book is the sailor Ishmael's narrative of the quest of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, and his revenge against Moby Dick, the giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. An enthusiast for Melville, British author E. M. Forster, remarked in 1927: "Moby-Dick is full of meanings: its meaning is a different problem." Yet he saw as "the essential" in the book "its prophetic song", which flows "like an undercurrent" beneath the surface action and morality. "Above all", say the scholars Bryant and Springer, Moby-Dick is language: "nautical, biblical, Homeric, Shakespearean, Miltonic, cetological, alliterative, fanciful, colloquial, archaic and unceasingly allusive". Melville stretches grammar, quotes well-known or obscure sources, and swings from calm prose to high rhetoric, technical exposition, seaman's slang, mystic speculation, or wild prophetic archaism. As Ishmael says, "It is not down in any map; true places never are." We invite you to join us as we explore this great American novel over sixteen weekly Tuesday evening online seminars, 5:30-7:00PM Pacific 

This sixteen-week series is $850. Community of Lifelong Learners subscribers receive a discount of $100 through a refund. Payment options are available. 

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW MEETING

The Ways of the Greeks - History Part One
The Ancient City and Herodotus

 

Thursday Evenings - September 15 - December 15, 2022

Isocrates, the Greek rhetorician, once remarked that what makes one an Athenian is not the blood that runs through one’s veins, but the ideas in one’s mind. How can we access this ancient world, with some aspects so foreign and others so familiar, and discover foundations that changed the trajectory of civilization. This series is developed in four sections: 1) Gods and Epics, 2) Tragedy and Comedy, 3) Plato and Aristotle, 4) History - in two parts). Attendees will gain a deep understanding of Greek life through some of its greatest authors, and will be better able to see the profound influence the Greeks have had on the entirety of the west and the world. Online seminars in will take place on Thursday evenings, 5:30-7:00PM Pacific Time. Greek History Part One will focus on The Ancient City by Fustel de Coulanges and The Histories by Herodotus. Part Two, in spring 2023, will focus on The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides and The Anabasis by Arrian.

This thirteen-week series is $800. Community of Lifelong Learners subscribers receive a discount of $100 through a refund. Payment options are available. 

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW MEETING

American History Intensive - Section Three:

The Civil War to the 21st Century


Wednesday Evenings -
April 20, 2022 to November 9, 2022.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in Democracy in America that “Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.” By most accounts, America is a profound experiment whose effect on the world cannot be overstated. Through a keen sense of destiny and a wealth of natural resources, the country has helped to transform political structures globally, as well as humankind’s vision of itself. The meaning of the “shot heard round the world" in 1775 is still unfolding, with no guarantee that a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” By varying degrees, the nation continues to strive to live up to its principles, and the struggle for equality for all its citizens continues to be a central difficulty. 

 

Through the lenses of race, religion, politics, education, media, commerce, science, and culture, this series will explore the history of America through three four-month sections, and will attempt to find answers to our essential American questions: How can we describe the American Mind? What are the country’s core values and central tenets?  Can those core values and central tenets endure? How has America’s role on the international stage changed over time?   

Online seminars will take place on Wednesday evenings, 5:30-7:30PM Pacific Time. All reading materials will be supplied and sessions will be facilitated by tutors experienced is shared inquiry and the Socratic method. Groups will be limited to 12 participants and no prior knowledge is required. The Six-Month Weekly Series is $800 and is not included in the recurring subscription package, but subscribers receive a $100 discount. Payment options are available.

Click here for full details.

Free Community Online Series

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Free Online Community Seminar Series

The Foundations of Our Republic, Take II

Monday, October 3, 2022

What are the fundamental principles of our Republic? Are these principles based on a view of objective reality/nature, or simply the "consent of the governed"? Depending on how one addresses the previous question: Are these principles changeable, and if so on what grounds? How should one read the founding documents? What authority does the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches have? What are rights? Are they based on nature or consent? Are they inalienable? Please join us as we explore these political works through semi-monthly evening meetings. 

The October 3 reading is:

Supreme Court Case - Plessy vs. Ferguson

Schedule:
5:30 - 6:30PM PDT

Readings in the series:
Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, selected Federalist Papers, selected Anti-Federalist Papers, the U.S. Constitution, selections from Democracy in American, Dred Scott Decision and Dissenting View (edited), selected Lincoln speeches, Lincoln Douglass Debates (edited), Plessy v. Ferguson and Dissenting View (edited), Brown v. Board of Education, Letter from Birmingham Jail, Proposed Equal Rights Amendment, Roe Vs. Wade and Dobbs vs. Jackson, UN Declaration of Human Rights

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link.

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Free Online Community Seminar Series

The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

by C. G. Jung 

Monday, October 10, 2022

Jung's work has been influential in the fields of psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, psychology and religious studies. The collective unconscious is defined by Jung as the "objective psyche," referring to the segment of the deepest unconscious mind that is genetically inherited and is not shaped by personal experience. According to Jung, the collective unconscious is common to all human beings and is responsible for a number of deep-seated beliefs and instincts, such as spirituality, sexual behavior, and fundamental responses to life and death. We invite you to explore this work through semi-monthly meetings, a chapter per session. Click here to visit the Archetypes and Collective Unconscious Page.

The October 10 reading is:

The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious by Carl Jung - Princeton University Press; 2nd ed. edition (August 1981), ISBN 0691018332

The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales - On the Psychology of the Trickster-Figure - Paragraphs 456-488

 

Schedule:
5:30 - 6:30PM PDT

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link

Upcoming Regular Events

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Online Seminar Series

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Let us leave theories there and return to here's hear.

 

Having done the longest day in literature with Ulysses (1922),  Joyce set himself an even greater challenge for his next book - the night. "A nocturnal state... That is what I want to convey: what goes on in a dream, during a dream." Published in 1939, the book would take Joyce two decades to complete. 

 

A story with no real beginning or end, the work has come to assume a preeminent place in English literature. Anthony Burgess has lauded Finnegans Wake as "a great comic vision, one of the few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly every page". Harold Bloom has called it Joyce's  masterpiece, and, in The Western Canon (1994), wrote that "if aesthetic merit were ever again to center the canon, Finnegans Wake would be as close as our chaos could come to the heights of Shakespeare and Dante".

Join us as we read this text one chapter at a time, every other Wednesday afternoon. Click here to visit the Finnegans Wake Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

October 5 Reading:

Book One - Chapter Three of Finnegans Wake by Joyce, continued, page 63.

Penguin Classics; Reissue edition (December 1999). ISBN 9780141181264

Also, Chapter Three of A Reader's Guide to Finnegans Wake by William Tindall

Syracuse University Press; Reprint edition (May 1996), ISBN 0815603851

Schedule:

12:00-1:30PM PDT

 

Tutor

Barry Rabe

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Shakespeare and Plutarch: Roman Plays, Roman Lives

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Although more than four of Shakespeare’s plays are set in Roman times, four are set either in Rome itself or wherever large events, the results of forces variously centrifugal and centripetal, decided the fate of Roman power at any given moment.   Three of his plays take place in the historical hurly-burly of the Roman Republic, over a nearly 500-year period from its early days to its smashing collapse a few decades before the Christian era. One of these three, Coriolanus, is set in early Republican Rome; the other two, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, at the end of it.  The other of the four, Titus Andronicus, is set in a shadowy, largely fictional world of late Imperial Rome, in a time that would have been, chronologically, long after the other three. Titus, set the latest, nevertheless appears to be the first Roman play Shakespeare wrote, and is the least accomplished as a work of art. The three mostly historical plays draw their material directly from Plutarch’s Lives, that biographical treasury of the ancient world; Titus, unsurprisingly, does not – indeed, could not. To read these four plays, interspersed with the corresponding Roman lives to be found in Plutarch preceding each play in turn, may afford an illuminating perspective on some fascinating Romans and the ways in which they have come down to us.  Except for Titus, which, though chronologically last, will be read first, the reading of the lives and plays will circle back after Titus to the early Republic to follow the historical chronology of the stories they tell.  Thus, the seven seminars (four on Shakespeare, three on Plutarch) in the series: Titus Andronicus, Plutarch’s Life of Coriolanus, Coriolanus, Plutarch’s Lives of Caesar and Brutus, Julius Caesar, Plutarch’s Life of Antony, Antony and Cleopatra.

October 8 Reading:

The Life of Brutus by Plutarch

Plutarch's Lives Volume II - Modern Library Paperback edition (April 2001) - ISBN 978-0375756771

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Eric Stull

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
by Edward Gibbon - Chapter XL

Sunday, October 9, 2022

This six-volume work by the English historian Edward Gibbon traces Western civilization from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of Byzantium in the fifteenth century. These texts cover the history, from 98 to 1,590AD, of the Roman Empire, the history of early Christianity and then of the Roman Church, and the general history of Europe. According to the author, the Roman Empire succumbed to barbarian invasions in large part due to the gradual loss of civic virtue among its citizens. We invite you to join this series as we explore this influential text in monthly online seminars, exploring a few chapters at a time.

Click here to visit the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

October 9 Reading: 

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon - Penguin Classics; Abridged edition (January 2001) - ISBN 0140437649

Chapter XL (Pages 446-507)

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

David Appleby

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Is Natural Law Real?

Saturday, October 22, 2022

The term natural law is a little hazy. Is natural law simply a more authoritative version of positive law? And if that is true, how might we understand how the founders of the American republic came to believe in the proposition that we are all endowed with certain inalienable rights which are self-evident truths? Conversely, does science and civil law show us that there are no natural laws, rather only values?

If natural law is real is it grounded in the metaphysical or in something else? How do we reconcile the problems of the is and ought, skepticism, positivism, notions of right and wrong, teleology, scientism, the connection between virtue and happiness, and human dignity.

 

We invite you to join us as we attempt to clarify what natural law means. We will read and discuss works by Sophocles, Heraclitus, Protagoras, Thrasymachus (in Plato), Aristotle, Cicero, St. Augustine, Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke, the American founders, C.S. Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr, as well as the The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, among other works. 

October 22 Reading:

Selections from Augustine's City of God - Penguin Classics;
Revised ed. edition (January 2004) - ISBN - 978-0140448948

Bk II  Ch 21-2      pg  72-7 

Bk XIV Ch 28.     pg  593-4

Bk XIX Ch 12-7   pg 866-79

Bk XIX Ch 20-1.  pg 881-4

Bk XIX Ch 24-8   pg 890-5

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor

Carl Bobkoski

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Locke's Essay

Sunday, October 23, 2022

What assumptions, perhaps unexamined, underlie our opinions on such subjects as individual rights, tolerance and the role of government? Can an exploration of basic philosophical questions, such as How do we know what we know? and What are the limits of our understanding? inform our thinking on political issues and foster mutual understanding?

 

John Locke, whose words are echoed in the Declaration of Independence and whose ideas informed the framers of the U.S. Constitution thought the study of philosophy had that power. He embarked on An Essay Concerning Human Understanding following an impasse among friends in a discussion of subjects of morality and religion. He writes, “After we had a while puzzled ourselves, without coming any nearer a resolution of those doubts which perplexed us, it came into my thoughts, that we took a wrong course; and that, before we set ourselves upon inquiries of that nature, it was necessary to examine our own abilities, and see, what objects our understandings were, or were not fitted to deal with.” 

 

Join us as we discuss Locke’s study of human understanding, his examination of those philosophical questions which underpin his political insights. 

 

This series continues a broader series on epistemology. All are welcome. Please join us even if this will be your first seminar in the series. 

October 23 Reading: 

The Epistle to the Reader and Book I (pp. 1 to 32)

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke

Abridged and Edited by Kenneth P. Winkler

ISBN 978-0-87220-216-0

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor: 

Carol Seferi

Location: 

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Anguish and the Absurd
1984 by George Orwell (part three of three)

Sunday, October 30, 2022

This series will explore the troubling world of the absurd through the writings of Kafka, Gogol, Camus, Sartre, Borges, Beckett, Bulgakov, Orwell, Foucault, and others.

October 30 Reading:

1984 - Part Three, conclusion

Animal Farm: 1984 - Mariner Books; 1st edition (June 2003)

ISBN - 978-0151010264

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Paul Herder

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Saturday, November 5, 2022

“There is love in me the likes of which you've never seen. There is rage in me the likes of which should never escape. If I am not satisfied int he one, I will indulge the other.”

Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus, was written in 1818 by Mary Shelley when she was 20. The novel tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. The themes of loss, guilt, technological progress, prudence, and the consequences of defying nature are present in this extraordinary text. 

November 5 Reading:

Frankenstein (entire work)

Penguin Classics (January 2018) - ISBN - 978-0143131847

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutors

Karl Haigler and Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Shakespeare and Plutarch: Roman Plays, Roman Lives

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Although more than four of Shakespeare’s plays are set in Roman times, four are set either in Rome itself or wherever large events, the results of forces variously centrifugal and centripetal, decided the fate of Roman power at any given moment.   Three of his plays take place in the historical hurly-burly of the Roman Republic, over a nearly 500-year period from its early days to its smashing collapse a few decades before the Christian era. One of these three, Coriolanus, is set in early Republican Rome; the other two, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, at the end of it.  The other of the four, Titus Andronicus, is set in a shadowy, largely fictional world of late Imperial Rome, in a time that would have been, chronologically, long after the other three. Titus, set the latest, nevertheless appears to be the first Roman play Shakespeare wrote, and is the least accomplished as a work of art. The three mostly historical plays draw their material directly from Plutarch’s Lives, that biographical treasury of the ancient world; Titus, unsurprisingly, does not – indeed, could not. To read these four plays, interspersed with the corresponding Roman lives to be found in Plutarch preceding each play in turn, may afford an illuminating perspective on some fascinating Romans and the ways in which they have come down to us.  Except for Titus, which, though chronologically last, will be read first, the reading of the lives and plays will circle back after Titus to the early Republic to follow the historical chronology of the stories they tell.  Thus, the seven seminars (four on Shakespeare, three on Plutarch) in the series: Titus Andronicus, Plutarch’s Life of Coriolanus, Coriolanus, Plutarch’s Lives of Caesar and Brutus, Julius Caesar, Plutarch’s Life of Antony, Antony and Cleopatra.

November 6 Reading:

Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

Penguin Publishing Group - Pelican Shakespeare Series (November  2016) -
ISBN 9780143128601

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor

Eric Stull

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The Work of Flannery O'Connor
A Late Encounter with the Enemy by O'Connor

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Mary Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist. She wrote two novels and 32 short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries. Her writing is exquisite and reflects her Catholic faith and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. She was a Southern writer who often wrote in a sardonic style and relied heavily on regional settings and troubling characters. 

"Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic... The stories are hard but they are hard because there is nothing harder or less sentimental than Christian realism... When I see these stories described as horror stories I am always amused because the reviewer always has hold of the wrong horror."

Despite her secluded life, her writing reveals an an incredible grasp of human behavior. O'Connor gave many lectures on faith and literature, traveling quite far despite her frail health. Politically, she maintained a broadly progressive outlook in connection with her faith, voting for John F. Kennedy in 1960 and supporting the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. We invite you to join us as we read a collection of her work, meeting about about once per month online. 

September 18 Reading:

A Late Encounter with the Enemy

The Complete Stories - Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First edition (January 1971)

ISBN - 978-0374515362

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor

Kevin Walker

Location

Online. Register to receive the link.