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Albuquerque OASIS Religion & Spirituality Classes

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OASIS Albuquerque has a number of interesting classes in philosophy, religion and spirituality coming up in their summer session, May through August, 2016. Most classes cost $8, and you can register online here.

Expulsion and Memory: Conversos & Crypto-Jews in New Mexico

Wednesday, June 1, 10:30 a.m. to noon

NM is home to descendants of Jews expelled from Spain during the Inquisition. Some do not know their heritage; others know but continue practicing Christianity; still others are Christian but include Jewish rituals in their practice or secretly consider themselves Jews, engaging in a Crypto-Jewish lifestyle. In this class we will screen the film Expulsion and Memory and discuss the Converso story. This class is a good preparation for class #123, a tour of the new NM History Museum exhibit on this subject.

Norma Libman specializes in topics such as T.S. Eliot, E.E. Cummings, Shakespeare’s sonnets, and Jewish history. She taught writing, literature, and humanities in Chicago, and now leads workshops and trips throughout New Mexico. She is a freelance journalist with degrees in education and literature from Northeastern Illinois University. Norma has had more than 500 articles published in newspapers nationwide and is the author of the award-winning novel, Lonely River Village.

Black Madonna Sites of Europe

Tuesday, May 17, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

From Poland to Spain and from Switzerland to Sicily, dozens of medieval statues of Our Lady remain at powerful pilgrimage sites, mostly in France and Spain. Who is Notre Dame or Nuestra Señora? Black Madonnas are found at ancient sites of temples to pre-Christian goddesses. They also are found near Neolithic structures from 3000 BCE and even near Paleolithic painted caves from 18,000 BCE. What is the immense significance of this Feminine Divine for millions of people today?

Dr. Maya Sutton’s 30 years of research over much of Europe traces patterns from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages. Her courses emphasize personal experience with each area, including access to authors, archives, and adventures. She has taught at UNM since the 1980s.

Woman of Conscience: Dorothy Day

May 25 & June 6, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. ($16 fee)

“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?” – Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and life in a Chicago tenement to fight for social justice from within the Roman Catholic Church. Controversial in death as in life, her writings continue to challenge and provoke activism. This two-part course begins with a lecture and concludes with a screening of the film Entertaining Angels, followed by a talk-back. The second class will be 2.5 hours.

Jane Ellen is an award-winning composer who shares her passion for music and the liberal arts. She completed double majors in music and religious studies at UNM with additional work in composition and archaeology. Her music has been performed internationally, and she has a catalogue of more than 60 published works as well as numerous choral and chamber commissions. Known to OASIS audiences for her music lectures and classes, she has also offered many other topics over the past 20 years.

Hebrew Chant: Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love

Thursday, June 16, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Words of creation, transformation, and healing are hidden in plain sight. When you find the divine breath within and resuscitate those words, they come alive and become a vehicle of power and healing. In this workshop, explore the power and magic of Hebrew Chant as we transform the words of prayer into spiritual practice. All are welcome. You do not have to be Jewish or know how to sing or meditate.

Rabbi Shefa Gold is a leader of the Alliance for Jewish Renewal. She received her ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (z”l). She is the director of the Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. She teaches workshops and retreats on the theory and art of chanting, devotional healing, spiritual community-building and meditation.

Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling

Monday, June 20, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Soren Kierkegaard’s book Fear and Trembling is a profound theological and psychological study of Genesis 22, the story of God commanding Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac. It is also Kierkegaard’s rather complex explanation to Regina Olsen why he felt commanded by God to break off their engagement. Kierkegaard considered this his best work, and indeed it is a classic.

Reverend Dr. Frank Yates retired in 2014 as pastor of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. He teaches New Testament in the religious studies program at UNM, philosophy and ethics at Lewis University, and also teaches at St. Norbert University. A graduate of Abilene Christian University and UT Austin, his graduate degrees are from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

An Introduction to Meditating on Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Thursdays, June 23 & 30, 10:30 a.m. to noon ($16 fee)

This course begins with understanding the symbolism and authentication of the sacred image of Our Lady in the Basilica in Mexico City. Then, step-by-step, learn a meditation practice with the contemplative tools of movement, reverential gesture, breath and Christian chant to foster receptivity in body, mind, and heart. The pinnacle of the meditation is gazing upon Our Lady and eventually taking in the qualities she possesses. Handouts support a daily meditation practice for home use. No experience necessary. Limited enrollment.

Jim Reale, a published researcher, certified yoga therapist, and registered nurse, has taught for 16 years integrating western spirituality with eastern contemplative practice. He has presented at national conferences with Fr. Thomas Keating, Fr. Richard Rohr, and James Finley all of whom are pioneers in the resurgence of Christian contemplative spirituality. Reale’s Catholic background and his continued travel and study in India have created a unique integration contemplative meditation that is holistic in nature.

Islamic Fundamentalism

Tuesday, July 5, 10:30 a.m. to noon

This lecture introduces the social, political, and cultural dimensions of Islamic fundamentalism. The content is directed toward understanding the relationship between socio/political life and fundamentalist trend in the Muslim world. It focuses on the cultural, historical, and political developments in Muslim societies that led to the resurgence of fundamentalist trend in the contemporary Islamic world.

Mozafar Banihashemi has a PhD in sociology from UNM. He specializes in the study of fundamentalism and reform, Islam, and democracy in the context of the Middle East. He teaches politics of religious fundamentalism at UNM and lectures on topics related to the role of public Islam and democratization in Iran.

The Recusants of the British Isles

Thursday, July 28, 10:30 a.m. to noon

The recusants of England and Wales kept “The Old Religion” alive in an underground church that resisted from 1593 until Catholic Relief was granted in 1829. Mass and sacraments were secretly offered by priests branded as traitors, and martyrs suffered frightening deaths. But the faith endured and Catholics were legalized at long last. We will hear their words and Father Chris will present some of his family’s own history on the Welsh Marches and a hidden chapel.

Fr. Christopher Zugger was born in Buffalo, New York in 1954. A graduate of St. Bonaventure University (1977) and The Washington Theological Union (1981), he was ordained a priest in the Byzantine Catholic Church in 1981. He was pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help from 1985-2008 until medical retirement directed him into new pastoral work. He has been presenting for OASIS for many years on a wide variety of subjects.

Joseph in Three Dimensions: Literature, Visual Art & Music

Wednesday, August 10, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Joseph is one of the most fascinating, multi-dimensional Biblical figures. We will examine his life from literary, philosophical, ethical, and aesthetic viewpoints, and explore his life for universal values which apply to our time.

Rabbi Paul Citrin received his BA in history from UCLA and an MA in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College. He has served congregations since he was ordained by the Hebrew Union College in 1973. Rabbi Citrin has authored a children’s novel and children’s prayer books and edited an anthology of scholarly essays on the Hebrew language. He is active in issues of social justice and interfaith relations.

How Christianity Laid the Foundations for the Scientific Revolution

Thursday, August 11, 10:30 a.m. to noon

In the foundations of modern science, Judaeo-Christian theology played a crucial enabling role during the Middle Ages. We can almost say that without Christianity, modern science would not exist. In fact, no non-Christian culture, no matter how wealthy or creative, experienced its own Scientific Revolution. We will examine the predecessors of the scientific revolution in Islamic and Chinese culture and learn about the confluence of Greek, Roman, and Judaeo-Christian thought that produced modern science.

Nelson Hoffman works at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Computational Physics Division. He earned a BA in physics from Rice University in 1970, and a PhD in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin in 1974. His research interests lie in the areas of laser-driven fusion and plasma physics. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 scientific papers which have garnered over 1000 citations.

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