Service Schedule

Sunday, November 26 Dr. Shane Larson addresses the Question on Life on Other Worlds
Nov
26
10:30 AM10:30

Sunday, November 26 Dr. Shane Larson addresses the Question on Life on Other Worlds

Ever since we realized that the stars were distant suns, we have wondered if there were also planets circling them, and speculated as to whether or not there might also be life on them. In the last two decades,  new planets have been discovered at a prodigious rate.  But what about life?  Arthur C. Clarke once said, "Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying." We'll chat about what we know of other worlds, what we think life might be like, and how we are attempting to explore the profound question of whether or not we are alone in the Cosmos.

Dr. Larson is the Associate Director at CIERA, Northwestern University astrophysics center   He works in the field of gravitational wave astrophysics, specializing in studies of compact stars, binaries, and the galaxy.    He received a B.S. in Physics from Oregon State University in 1991 and then earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics (1999) from Montana State University.  He is an award-winning teacher, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, contributes regularly to a public science blog at writescience.wordpress.com, and tweets with the handle @sciencejedi.

View Event →

Dr. Neal Grossman, Associate Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, University of Illinois, Chicago,  UUA Principles and the Near-Death Experience
Nov
19
10:30 AM10:30

Dr. Neal Grossman, Associate Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, University of Illinois, Chicago, UUA Principles and the Near-Death Experience

The near-death experience (NDE) has been the subject of scientific investigation since Raymond Moody’s book, Life After Life, was published about 40 years ago.  These investigations have crossed many areas, from phenomenology (what do NDErs say they have experienced?) to epistemology (how do we know that the NDE is real?) to psychology (how are NDErs affected by their experience?).  In his presentation, Professor Grossman will focus mostly on the psychological dimension of the NDE.  He will argue that the NDE appears to induce personality or psychological changes in the experiencers, so that they become more naturally aligned with UUA principles.

Neal Grossman  has a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science from Indiana University.  His special interests are Spinoza, mysticism, and the epistemology of parapsychological research.

View Event →
Dr. Emily Pace, Chicago Digital Humanities Coordinator, Lake Forest College and Former Director of UU-Affiliated Harvard Square Library Prophetic Witness: Separation of Politics and Religion
Nov
12
10:30 AM10:30

Dr. Emily Pace, Chicago Digital Humanities Coordinator, Lake Forest College and Former Director of UU-Affiliated Harvard Square Library Prophetic Witness: Separation of Politics and Religion

The United States Constitution is commonly understood to mandate a separation of religion from politics yet politics and religion have a long history of connection from abolitionism to women’s rights and numerous other social justice causes in the history of this country. Using an historical-critical approach, our speaker, Dr. Emily Mace, will guide us through the social justice-themed passages in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles that continue to inspire justice work today, passages which highlight the real complexity of separating politics and religion.

Dr. Mace has a Ph.D. in American religious history from Princeton University and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School.

 

 

 

 

View Event →
Service at Curt's Cafe' in Evanston, Susan Trieschmann, Owner, Curt's Cafe, Curt's Cafe' and Restorative Justice
Nov
5
10:30 AM10:30

Service at Curt's Cafe' in Evanston, Susan Trieschmann, Owner, Curt's Cafe, Curt's Cafe' and Restorative Justice

Join LSUS and Curt’s Café Founder Susan Trieschmann for a breakfast social gathering and to learn about her experience with Restorative Justice. The event starts at 10:30.  Ms. Trieschmann was once the owner of a large food service company but after going to college at the age of 48 and finding herself in a restorative justice class at DePaul, her life changed - for the better.  She was fortunate enough to participate in circles of conversation in the Cook County jail for youth, in circles with victims and offenders at Evanston Police Department, and circles of conflict in her community.  She has practiced the philosophy of restorative justice for over 10 years and has never walked away from a circle that hasn't changed her way of thinking or her way of respecting others and their life choices.  She will share the basic philosophy of restorative justice and how it brought her to opening Curt’s Cafe five years ago.  We will be meeting at Curt’s Café – 2922 Central Street in Evanston.  RE class will take place at the Café.

 

View Event →
The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth: Jefferson’s Search for the Essential Teachings of Jesus
Oct
29
10:30 AM10:30

The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth: Jefferson’s Search for the Essential Teachings of Jesus

NOTE: THIS SERVICE WILL BE HELD AT MALLICKRODT CENTER AT 1041A RIDGE ROAD IN WILMETTE.  

Guest Speaker: Jon Grand, Manager, The Book Stall

Jon Grand, manager of Winnetka’s Book Stall, will speak on the topic, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth: Jefferson’s Search for the Essential Teachings of Jesus.  Thomas Jefferson was a Deist and was mistrustful of organized Christian religion, dogma, priests, and ceremony.  But he believed that the teachings of Jesus constituted the greatest moral instruction ever given to mankind.  To separate those basic moral precepts from what he felt was myth furthered the power of the church, Jefferson turned to four bibles in his possession, including his King James Version, and painstakingly cut out those passages which could be attributed to Jesus and glued them together in sequence to create a new bible.  Gone were the miracles, the virgin birth and even the resurrection.  What remained were the moral teachings, carefully glued together and bound in a slim volume which he called "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" or, as we know it "The Jefferson Bible."   

Jon Grand was born in Washington, D.C. to a Foreign Service Officer and grew up between South America and Washington.  He received a BA in English Literature and an MS in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His career was comprised of fascinating jobs in environmental planning, including Director positions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Nordic/Baltic Region, in Copenhagen and in Chicago.  In 2006 he retired and began to work part time at The Book Stall.  A part-time job has turned into a more than full-time job which he loves.

View Event →
Seeking Center: The Wisdom in Cheyenne Cosmology toward Becoming One with the Universe
Oct
22
10:30 AM10:30

Seeking Center: The Wisdom in Cheyenne Cosmology toward Becoming One with the Universe

Guest Speaker: Herman Bender, Independent Researcher and Archeoastronomer.

Mr. Herman Bender will speak on the topic, Seeking Center: Cheyenne Cosmology - Becoming One with the Universe.  In this talk, Mr. Bender will delve into the ideal of Center.  The first time Mr. Ralph Redfox, a traditional Cheyenne elder and grandson of the last Massaum priest came to visit Mr. Bender, he announced that he had come "seeking center."  Center is considered to be profound, within, without, multiple and universal.  Center can be recognized as having both a physical component at a sanctified place and as a personal ideal to be sought, i.e. “the truth within” (Goodman 1992:31).  A physical, geometric center was established at the Starman site which, along with the cross-diagonal solstice alignments, was meant to quarter time and space.

Herman Bender is an independent researcher, writer and editor with a background in geology (professional emphasis) and an amateur astronomer with decades of experience.  He is nationally and internationally published in the fields of archeoastronomy, prehistoric trail research, petroform research, applied geophysics, cultural landscape studies and Northern archaic shamanistic traditions. As a specialist in Plains and Woodland Indian astronomy traditions and related cosmologies, Mr. Bender has worked with a number of Native American tribes including the Northern Cheyenne, Lakota, Ojibway, Potowatomi and Ho-Chunk.  Much of this work is related to Native American land claims, repatriation issues and establishing cultural identities.

View Event →
Buddhism and Interdependence
Oct
15
10:30 AM10:30

Buddhism and Interdependence

Guest Speaker: Jim Kenney, Executive Director, Common Ground.

Jim Kenney, Co-Founder (with the late Ron Miller) of Common Ground, will speak on the topic, Buddhism and the Interdependent Universe.  The ancient Buddhist philosophical system, which undergirds the Buddhist religion, is based squarely on the concept of an interdependent universe.  In this view, every thought, word, and physical action influences every other.  My path through life is intertwined with the paths of others, even those I’ve never met or known.  My choices resonate somehow with yours.  What makes this teaching even more intriguing is the fact that the idea of complex, interdependent systems in a profoundly “holistic” universe has come to play a very influential role in physics and other sciences.  Join Jim for an exciting glimpse of a very profound and challenging notion.

Jim Kenney did his doctoral work in the History and Literature of Religions, at Northwestern University. He has served as CG's Executive Director since 1986.  He was a Trustee-Founder of the Parliament of the World's Religions and served as the organization's Global Director from 1995-2002.  He is currently the Executive Director of the Interreligious Engagement Project (IEP21).  He also served until 2017 as Project Coordinator for the International Interreligious Peace Council.

View Event →
Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces:  Discussing Questions of Freedom of Speech on Campus
Oct
8
10:30 AM10:30

Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces: Discussing Questions of Freedom of Speech on Campus

Guest Speaker: Jay Ellison, Ph.D., Dean of Students, University of Chicago.

Dr. Jay Ellison, Dean of Students, University of Chicago, will speak on the topic, Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces: Discussing Questions of Freedom of Speech on Campus.  In the last few years there has been an increased focus on issues of academic freedom and freedom of speech on college campuses in the United States. Much of the push against academic freedom and freedom of speech has come from within the academic community itself.  Controversial speakers have been invited to campuses, only to be shouted down by people who disagree with their views; speakers have had their events canceled, sometimes due to their controversial ideas or out of campus safety concerns. Dr. Ellison will discuss the University of Chicago’s long-standing commitment to academic freedom which is not always easy or comfortable.

Dr. Ellison is the Dean of Students in the College at the University of Chicago.   He founded two offices in the Dean of Students area, the Center for College Student Success (CCSS)  dedicated to serving students from under resourced areas, first generation, and undocumented/DACAmented students, and the College Center for Scholarly Advancement (CCSA), which supports students and alumni in nationally competitive fellowship and scholarship competitions, and advises students planning to attend graduate school in the arts and sciences. He was named one of the top ten influencers in Higher Education for 2016 by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Ellison received his Ph.D. from Harvard (2002) in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

View Event →
How to Raise Strong, Respectful and Kind Children
Oct
1
10:30 AM10:30

How to Raise Strong, Respectful and Kind Children

Guest Speaker: Lauren Bondy, LCSW and Karen Jacobson, MA, LCPC, LMFT, Co-Founders, Parenting Perspectives. 

Karen Jacobson, MA, LMFT, LCPC, and Lauren Bondy, LCSW Certified LifeLine Practitioner, will speak on the topic, How to Raise Strong, Respectful and Kind Children.  As parents,  grandparents, aunts and uncles, we know that it is critical to nurture strength, respect and kindness in children.  In this fun and interactive workshop, we will learn many key and necessary tools for nurturing the very best in children.  Find out why true respect cannot be commanded and why respect begins with the family.

Ms. Jacobson and Ms. Bondy are on the cutting edge of innovation helping families become more self-aware so that they can thrive.  With passion, humor, and their signature-style demonstrations, they offer family members practical tools for promoting healthy development and nurturing the unique potential of their children.  As keynote speakers, they have been called “a dynamic duo; highly exciting and solid presenters who are practical, empathetic and experienced at the work they do.”  They have authored numerous published articles, appeared on ABC-7's Connect with Kids as well as radio appearances including Hay House Radio.

 

View Event →
Conditional vs. Unconditional Love: Is Adult Love Always Conditional?
Sep
24
10:30 AM10:30

Conditional vs. Unconditional Love: Is Adult Love Always Conditional?

Guest Speaker: Scott Paeth, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies, DePaul University.

Dr. Scott Paeth, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University, will speak on the topic, Conditional Vs. Unconditional Love: Is Adult Love Always Conditional?  This presentation will look at the various ways that “love” is understood.  How does love function in adult relationships?  Is there any place for unconditional love in adult relationships, or is all love in some sense conditional?  Examining the idea of love from religious and psychological angles, Dr. Paeth will explore what it means for our lives and our relationships.

Dr. Paeth holds a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary in theology and ethics.  His research interests focus on applied ethics, public theology, and the work and legacies of Reinhold and H. Richard Niebuhr.  He teaches a number of classes including “Contemporary Moral Issues,” “Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States,” and “Medicine, Ethics and Society.”  Dr. Paeth’s publications include The Niebuhr Brothers for Armchair Theologians (WJK 2014) and Shaping Public Theology (Eerdmans 2014).  As director of the Center for Interreligious Engagement at  DePaul’s Department of Religious Studies, he focuses on one central question: What are the requirements for building sustainable bridges among individuals and communities with different religious cultures?

View Event →
Interpersonal Conflict: What 30 Years of Research has Taught us about Managing It
Sep
17
10:30 AM10:30

Interpersonal Conflict: What 30 Years of Research has Taught us about Managing It

Guest Speaker: Liz Garvey, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and LSUS Member. 

Liz Garvey, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, will speak on the topic, Interpersonal Conflict: What 30 Years of Research Has Taught Us About Managing It.  Count to 10 before speaking?  Revel in the catharsis of unbridled self-expression?  Be a bigger person/don’t sweat the small stuff, and avoid conflict altogether?  Thanks to psychological and neurological research, conventional wisdom on how to handle conflict – and the role it plays in our lives - has been both confirmed and discredited.  Learn why you should be grateful for interpersonal conflict…and how to handle it productively!

After careers as a singer, realtor, and homemaker/volunteer, Liz earned her AMFT - Masters in Counseling with a concentration in marriage and family therapy from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.  For the last few years she has worked as a couples counselor at Couples Counseling Associates in Chicago, and this year served as a staff member for the second annual couples retreat weekend sponsored by Victories.  Additional experience includes designing and leading career counseling groups, as well as co-facilitating a grief support group.  Liz prides herself on continued professional development, and has completed Level 3 training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy as well as the Immersion Course in AEDP (a method of healing attachment trauma). 

View Event →
Lake Michigan: Our Globally Significant Resource
Sep
10
10:30 AM10:30

Lake Michigan: Our Globally Significant Resource

Guest Speaker: Judy Beck, Retired Lake Michigan Manager in the Great Lakes National Program Office, United States Environmental Protection Agency.  

Ms. Judy Beck, former Lake Michigan Manager in the Great Lakes National Program Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will speak on the topic, Lake Michigan: Our Globally Significant Resource.  In order to have a sustainable Lake Michigan, a watershed of literate and engaged stewards is necessary.  Since 1987 when the US and Canada signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, stakeholder involvement in the governance of the Great Lakes has been underway.  Different approaches and funding scenarios have changed over the years and have provided a history of experiences and lessons learned.  Also changing over the years are the Great Lakes themselves- their climate, their water levels, and species mix of natives to invasives.  Research has continued to change our knowledge base and provide new tools.  Now is the time to combine the stewardship legacy with current knowledge and tools to continue restoration and protection of Lake Michigan.

In her tenure with the EPA from 1995-2014, Ms. Beck managed the multi-agency implementation and stakeholder involvement in the Lake Michigan basin of the US/Canadian Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.  She has also been active and held office in the League of Women Voters at the local, state and national levels.  She combines 32 years of federal experience with 32 years of locally elected and appointed public village positions and has significant non-governmental experience for a unique view on successful stakeholder involvement.

View Event →
Listen to the Patient:  Of Life and Neurosurgery
May
14
10:30 AM10:30

Listen to the Patient: Of Life and Neurosurgery

Guest Speaker:

Dr. Ivan Ciric, M.D., Professor emeritus of Neurosurgery at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, will speak on the topic, Listen to the Patient: Of Life and Neurosurgery.  Dr. Ciric will share with us his experiences as a neurosurgeon, from the early years of his career when he did not have sophisticated imaging, such as the CT and MRI, or advanced tools, such as the operating microscope and the Gamma Knife, that we benefit from today. In his talk, as in his book, he will emphasize the importance of listening to patients’ stories, not only as a  means of deriving at a correct diagnosis, but also to offer undivided attention and empathy to patients at the moment of their greatest need for spiritual comfort and solace.

Dr. Ciric was born in Vienna, Austria, and grew up in a small wine producing community in the Danube Valley, Yugoslavia. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Belgrade and Doctor of Medicine from the University of Cologne, Germany. Upon joining the staff of Evanston Hospital and the Northwestern University faculty in 1967, Dr. Ciric introduced microsurgical techniques in the treatment of various neurosurgical disorders. Over the years, he has developed special interest in the microsurgery of pituitary tumors, acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, cerebral gliomas and of various spinal disorders. Dr. Ciric has published countless articles throughout his career. In his retirement, he enjoys traveling with his wife Anne.

In addition to Dr. Ciric our program will include two special musical guests - Agnieszka (violin) and Patrycja Likos (cello)will accompany LSUS Musical Director Elif Allenfort.   

 

View Event →
The Changing Role of the Supreme Court
May
7
10:30 AM10:30

The Changing Role of the Supreme Court

Dr. Jerry Goldman, Research Professor Emeritus, Northwestern School of Law, will speak on The Changing Role of the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court is a political institution.  Its justices abjure political symbols but engage in politics by the very nature of their activities.  Changes in the way the court conducts business have altered its role.  And recent changes in the selection of its occupants will further alter the institution.  Politics is part of the Court’s’ warp and weave, but it has largely hidden this influence in order to assert non-partisan, above-the-fray decision-making.

Dr. Goldman joined the faculty of Northwestern in 1975 after completing his Ph.D. in political science at The Johns Hopkins University.  He was among the first recipients of the all-campus Charles Deering McCormick Chair of Teaching Excellence.  He is the recipient of numerous awards for innovation in the use of the information and computer technology including the EDUCOM Medal for demonstrated excellence in the application of computing technology to political science. Dr. Goldman is the co-author of a leading American government textbook, The Challenge of Democracy, now in its 14th edition. His magnum opus, The Oyez Project, is a free authoritative archive of Supreme Court audio recorded from October 1955 to the present.

View Event →
Hands of Peace: The Power of Dialogue and Breaking Down Barriers Among Teens
Apr
30
10:30 AM10:30

Hands of Peace: The Power of Dialogue and Breaking Down Barriers Among Teens

Guest Speaker:

Rick Rosenfeld, Executive Director, Hands of Peace will speak on the topic, Hands of Peace – The Power of Dialogue and Breaking Down Barriers Among Teens.  Hands of Peace is an interfaith organization that empowers young people to raise their voices as leaders of change.  Through the power of dialogue, Palestinians, Israelis and Americans partner to pursue peace, equality, freedom, and justice.  Each summer, Hands of Peace brings together 44 teenagers in Chicago and 44 teenagers in San Diego – mostly from Israel and Palestine – to begin building bridges and working toward peace.  The summer program is only the beginning of the journey.    All the students attend year-round seminars and activities in the Middle East to put their lessons into practice, and some of them return for a second year program.  American alumni work on social justice projects in the United States, including efforts to combat anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.  Hands of Peace believes that a peaceful future depends on the leadership of the next generation.

Mr. Rosenfeld joined Hands of Peace in June 2016 after a career thatspanned both non-profit and profit sectors.  He was a manager at The Rotary Foundation in Evanston in the late 1980s/early 1990s.  After a stint in management consulting, he launched an educational travel company that focused on sending U.S. graduate students overseas to learn about cultures and business in more than 100 countries.  He returned to the non-profit sector with a core belief that Hands of Peace will be part of the solution for a just and positive peace for all Israelis and Palestinians.

 

 

View Event →
Secular Spirituality: The Path to Grace Without God
Apr
23
10:30 AM10:30

Secular Spirituality: The Path to Grace Without God

Guest Speaker:

Katherine Ozment, author of the award-winning Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age, will speak on the topic, Secular Spirituality: The Path to Grace Without God.  She will talk about her three-year-long journey to research and document the dramatic rise of the nonreligious across the United States.  What accounts for the sudden increase in those who check “None of the Above” when asked their religious affiliation?  And what are the so-called Nones doing to meet the human needs which religion has met for millennia?  Ms. Ozment will share inspiring examples of the many creative ways which secular Americans are forming and finding new communities rituals and sources of meaning as they chart a path toward grace without God.

Ms. Ozment has worked in publishing for more than 25 years, including as a senior editor at National Geographic, for which she once rode a donkey through the desert of Jordan and Israel on assignment.  Her essays andarticles have been widely published, including in such venues as National GeographicThe New York TimesBostonSalon, and Fitness.  Born in Arkansas, she graduated from Harvard College with a degree in English and American Literature and received her Masters in Writing from DePaul University.

The LSUS Annual Meeting for pledging members will follow a shortened coffee hour after the service. 

View Event →
Mindfulness
Apr
16
10:30 AM10:30

Mindfulness

Guest Speaker:

Carl Jerome, Founding Teacher, North Shore Meditation and Dharma Center, Common Ground Speaker  will speak on the topic, Mindfulness.  The term mindfulness is used so broadly, popularly and globally that it has become little more than a synonym for wellness.  In this talk, we'll explore in depth the classic meaning of mindfulness and learn how to apply it as a meta-cognitive voice to become peaceful, happy, and healthy.  Mindfulness isn't just "being in the moment," or savoring a raisin more fully.  Mindfulness is enlightenment, and it requires constant self-regulation.  This self-regulation can only be accomplished with an internal voice that reflects on how one is processing the constant bombardment of sensory information.

Mr. Jerome has practiced meditation for much of his adult life, and Buddhism for the past 20 years.  His practice began at the Hartford Street Zen Center in San Francisco under beat poet and Zen Master Zenshin Philip Whalen Roshi.  Ten years ago he moved to St. Louis and became a student of Master Ji Ru, abbot of the Mid-America Buddhist Association, from whom he received lay teaching endorsement in 2006.  In addition to teaching at the Dharma Center, Mr. Jerome currently teaches meditation at the Recreation Center of Highland Park and at the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook.  He is a regular speaker at Common Ground.  He also leads classes and retreats in a local county jail and at a maximum-security prison in Missouri.

View Event →
The Problems of Wealth in Early Christianity
Apr
9
10:30 AM10:30

The Problems of Wealth in Early Christianity

Guest Speaker:

Anna Trombone-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of History and Chair of Department of History, Lake Forest College will speak on the topic, The Problem of Wealth in Early Christianity.  This talk will address Roman and early medieval Christian thinking on the relationship of wealth to the religious life and to salvation.  We will begin with Jesus’s admonitions regarding wealth in the Gospels, in which he seems to assert that money is a hindrance to salvation.  We will then turn to the Acts of the Apostles, which shows the earliest Christian communities demanding (under threat of harsh punishment) the renunciation of private property and the embrace of communal property.  Finally, we will turn to the writings of the early Church Fathers and monastic authors, who crafted their arguments about the proper role of wealth in a Christian life while balancing their awareness of the strict teachings ofGospels and Acts with the new reality of Christianity as the dominant religion of the Roman Empire—and consequently, of many rich people.  How, then, might it be possible to make wealth acceptable, or even salvific?

Dr. Trumbore-Jones earned her B.A. at the University of Chicago and received three post-graduate degrees in History at Columbia University: her M.A., then her M.Phil., and finally her Ph.D.  We have watched her ascend through the ranks at Lake Forest College, starting as Assistant Professor of History in the fall of 2003 and attaining her position of Professor in the fall of 2016.  Dr. Trumbore-Jones last spoke to us in 2011 on the topic Convivencia: Harmonious Interfaith Relations in Medieval Spain.

In lieu of a chalice lighting at this service, we will have a short ceremony recognizing new members who will sign the LSUS membership book. 

View Event →
The Mystical Roots of the Scientific Revolution
Apr
2
10:30 AM10:30

The Mystical Roots of the Scientific Revolution

Guest Speaker:

David Shyovitz, Ph.D., Lecturer, Religious and Jewish Studies, Northwestern University will speak on the topic, The Mystical Roots of the Scientific Revolution.  Today, it is commonly assumed that "science" and "religion" represent distinct and potentially irreconcilable worldviews--the former empirical and evidence-based, the latter rooted in intuition and faith.  But for the astronomers, chemists, physicists, and physicians who revolutionized scientific inquiry beginning in the 16th century, the boundaries were considerably blurrier.  Indeed, some historians have argued that early modern science represented a continuation of, rather than a break with, earlier mystical and even magical approaches to the natural world.  In this discourse, we will trace some of the conditions that gave rise to modern science, and consider the ways in which our own contemporary society seeks to achieve balance between the rational and the transcendent.

Dr. Shyovitz holds a joint appointment at the Crown Center for Jewish and Israel Studies.  His research and teaching focus on medieval cultural and intellectual history, with a particular emphasis on Jewish History and Jewish-Christian relations.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and has lectured widely throughout the United States, Europe, and Middle East.  His first book, A Remembrance of His Wonders: Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Ashkenaz, will be published in May by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

View Event →
The Status of Health Insurance for Millions of Americans under the Trump Administration
Mar
26
10:30 AM10:30

The Status of Health Insurance for Millions of Americans under the Trump Administration

Guest Speaker:

Craig Krugman, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Health Sciences DePaul University 

Dr. Craig Klugman, Professor of Health Sciences at DePaul University, will speak on the topic, The Status of Health Insurance Coverage for Millions of Americans under the Trump Administration.  With the support of Congress, the Trump Administration has said that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed and replaced, while promising health care for everyone.  Several plans have been floated but no bills have been introduced.  Hospitals, insurers, physicians, and the public remain uncertain and are unable to plan for the future.  Insurance plans will not change until 2018, at which point a repeal of the ACA could leave 20 million people with no insurance options and another 12 million without Medicaid coverage.  This talk will explore the plans and the possibilities for the future of health insurance and access to care.

Dr. Klugman studies ethics of health policy, public health ethics, and end of life issues.  He is the editor of Ethical Issues in Rural Health and the forthcoming MacMillan Handbook of Philosophy on Medical Ethics.  Having written over 260 publications, he is blog editor for bioethics.net where he writes on issues of health policy, medical technology, and professionalism.  He produced the films Advance Directives and A Cure for Dying.  Dr. Klugman earned his doctorate in Medical Humanities from the University of Texas Medical Branch, master’s degrees in Medical Anthropology and Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University, and his bachelor’s in Human Biology from Stanford University.

View Event →
Problems and Opportunities in Raising and Molding Digital Citizens: A Social Worker's Viewpoint
Mar
19
10:30 AM10:30

Problems and Opportunities in Raising and Molding Digital Citizens: A Social Worker's Viewpoint

Guest Speaker: 

Mandy Burbank, LCSW, Therapist, Clinical Navigator, Violence Prevention Services, Amita Health 

Ms. Mandy Burbank, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Violence Prevention Services at Amita Health, will speak on the topic, Problems and Opportunities in Raising and Molding Digital Citizens: A Social Worker’s Viewpoint.  Today, citizenship has stretched beyond civic citizenship and global citizenship; we are also digital citizens of a digital world.  Teaching digital citizenship is more than just limiting children's hours on an iPad; it's about how we treat each other online and how that behavior impacts our lives offline.  This talk will explore the impact of technology on individuals, families, community, and culture based on how we model and teach digital citizenship.

Ms. Burbank graduated from Bradley University summa cum laude with a B.A. in Public Relations/Communications.  She became a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and earned her Master of Social Work from the College of DuPage.  In July 2013 she joined Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health (now Amita Health) where she provides individual and family therapy and also coordinates violence prevention services for bullying, cyberbullying, and domestic violence.  

View Event →
Impact of Media Technology on Children and Adolescents
Mar
12
10:30 AM10:30

Impact of Media Technology on Children and Adolescents

Guest Speaker:

Alexis Lauricella, Ph.D., Lecturer and Research Associate, Department of Communications, Northwestern University 

Dr. Alexis Lauricella, Lecturer and Research Associate in Communications at Northwestern University, will speak on The Impact of Media Technology on Children and Adolescents.  As a daughter of a teacher, Dr. Lauricella has always been passionate about how children learn from the various experiences in their lives: school, parents, community, and media.  Now a mother of three girls, she feels she is living her research on the effects of media on young children.  She will address some typical concerns, but also the amazing ways in which media, and especially new media, can actually support parents, families, and children.  She will talk about different ways to use today's media, and highlight evidence that certain media can positively affect learning, prosocial behavior, moral development, and acceptance of differences.  She will also explore the impact of parents' own media choices.

Dr. Lauricella earned her B.A. in Business Marketing and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, her Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University, and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from that same university.  She has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, reports and book chapters, has received multiple research grants, and has earned many awards and honors.  She is a current member of the National Communication Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Society of Research.

View Event →
Cross Cultural Ethical and Religious Concerns with the Concepts of Brain Death and Organ Donation
Mar
5
10:30 AM10:30

Cross Cultural Ethical and Religious Concerns with the Concepts of Brain Death and Organ Donation

Guest Speaker:

Dr. Raymond Pollak, MD, General Surgeon, Hippocrates Consulting, Skokie, IL 

Dr. Raymond Pollak, M.D., General Surgeon at Hippocrates Consulting in Skokie, will speak on the topic, Cross Cultural Ethical and Religious Concerns with the Concepts of Brain Death and Organ Donation.  This presentation will discuss the modern understanding of brain death and its connections to the biblical definition of life and death.  The cross cultural concepts of life and death will also be explored.  This discussion will segue into the clinical arena of organ donation and transplantation, the “shortage of organs in the face of plenty,” and the influences of societal mores, culture and ethnicity.
 
Dr. Pollak has had a distinguished academic and clinical career.  A native of the Republic of South Africa, he graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, then completed his residency training at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  After 28 years at U of I's abdominal transplant program, he was recruited to lead a new clinical trials program at Edward Hospital in Naperville.  In 2008, he established Hippocrates Consulting, a practice that focuses on patient advocacy, second opinions and medico-legal work.  Dr. Pollak has published over 150 scholarly works in the field of transplantation and has been the recipient of substantial funding from the National Institutes of Health. 

 

View Event →
Policing in the 21st Century: Use of Force and Police Misconduct
Feb
26
10:30 AM10:30

Policing in the 21st Century: Use of Force and Police Misconduct

Guest Speaker: 

Mark Iris, Lecturer at Northwestern University, Executive Director (retired) City of Chicago Police

Dr. Mark Iris, Lecturer at Northwestern University in the Mathematical Methods Program in Social Sciences, will speak on the topic, Policing in the 21st Century: Use of Force and Police Misconduct.  Police use of force is a major public controversy today, yet myths are widespread while facts remain elusive.   Dr. Iris will discuss many issues, such as how and why force is used, and how the public misperceives the truth about police behavior. 

Dr. Iris served as Executive Director of the Chicago Police Board for 21 years. That office is responsible for holding disciplinary hearings in cases of Chicago police officers who are accused of misconduct.  In his role at Northwestern, he supervises research projects involving major city police departments and also instructs senior police managers at NU's Center for Public Safety.

View Event →
Historic Iran Nuclear Arms Deal: Pros and Cons
Feb
19
10:30 AM10:30

Historic Iran Nuclear Arms Deal: Pros and Cons

Guest Speaker:

Ahmad Sadri, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College.  

Dr. Ahmad Sadri, Professor of Sociology and James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College, will speak on the topic, The Historic Iran Nuclear Arms Deal: Pros and Cons.  The historic nuclear deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) between Iran and the five nations of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1), was without doubt the crowning foreign policy achievement ofPresident Obama's term in office.  This session will explore its provenance and its fate under the new Trump administration.  What are legitimate concerns and possible hopes for the future of this controversial treaty over the next four years? 

Dr. Sadri received his B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of Tehran and his Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research.  He is the author and editor of numerous books including Max Weber’s Sociology of Intellectuals and Reason Freedom and Democracy in Islam, as well as more than one hundred articles.  He wrote a column for Daily Star of Lebanon, and has appeared on the BBC, Al Jazeera, and National Public Radio.   In recent years Sadri wrote a weekly column for Etemad-e Melli, and Irandokht, reformist newspapers in Iran that have since been closed down.   His most recent translation of the Epic of the Persian Kings has sold 15,000 copies and has been turned into a shadow play.

 

 

View Event →
Black Holes and Stellar Graveyards:  Seeing the Cosmos in Gravitational Waves
Feb
12
10:30 AM10:30

Black Holes and Stellar Graveyards: Seeing the Cosmos in Gravitational Waves

Guest Speaker:

Shane Larson, Ph.D., Professor CIERA, NU, Department of Astronomy, Adler Planetarium 

Dr. Shane Larson, Research Associate Professor, at Northwestern University’s Department of Astronomy, will speak on the topic, Black Holes and Stellar Graveyards: Seeing the Cosmos in Gravitational Waves. Virtually everything we know about the universe has been discovered from the study of photons --- light in all its myriad forms from radio waves, to visible light, to x-rays and beyond.  In the early morning hours of September 14, 2015, a long-awaited gravitational wave signal came booming out of the sky, the signature of two black holes merging to form a new, larger black hole. The event happened 1.3 billion light years away, and the information has been travelling toward Earth since before multi-cellular life existed on our planet.  In this presentation, we'll talk about this momentous discovery --- how we found out about it, what wesaw, what it taught us about the universe, and what the future holds in store for us.

In addition to his position at Northwestern, Dr. Larson is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium.  He works in the field of gravitational wave astrophysics, specializing in studies of compact stars, binaries, and the galaxy.    He grew up in eastern Oregon, receiving his B.S. in Physics from Oregon State University in 1991.  He then earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics (1999) from Montana State University.  He is an award winning teacher, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.  Dr. Larson currently lives in the Chicago area with his wife, daughter and cats.  He contributes regularly to a public science blog at writescience.wordpress.com, and tweets with the handle @sciencejedi.

View Event →
Criminal Justice: Punitive or Preventative
Feb
5
10:30 AM10:30

Criminal Justice: Punitive or Preventative

Guest Speaker:

Ned Schwartz, Cook County Parole Officer and LSUS Member

Ned Schwartz, Cook County Parole Officer and LSUS member, will speak on the topic, Criminal Justice: Punitive or Preventative?  Our society devotes tremendous resources to criminal justice.  One would expect major benefits.  Are the expenditures producing good results?  There are unrealistic expectations, and confusion, about what our society actually wants.  It is difficult to produce efficient and effective systems when the goal of preventing crime gets mixed up with retribution and punishment.  Behavioral science demonstrates that positive reinforcement is vastly superior to penalties. Unsurprisingly, the threat of arrest and prison seems ineffective in deterring crime and recidivism.

Ned Schwartz received a B.A. in Psychology, with minors in Art and Political Science, in 1983 from the University of Michigan.  He then accepted a 3-year internship at the University of Chicago’s Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, a residential school for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders.  Subsequently, he followed his passion for art, and opened Beret International, a gallery which showcased contemporary art from 1990-2000.   In 1993, 10 years after sitting for the civil service exams, Ned was unexpectedly offered a position in a new Work Release Center, where he has now served for 23 years, currently as a Parole Officer.  Ned lives in Wilmette with his wife Michelle and their children.

 

 

View Event →
The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth: Jefferson's Search for the Essential Teachings of Jesus
Jan
29
10:30 AM10:30

The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth: Jefferson's Search for the Essential Teachings of Jesus

Guest Speaker:

Jon Grand, Manager, The Book Stall, Winnetka 

The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, commonly referred to as the Jefferson Bible, was a book constructed by Thomas Jefferson in the later years of his life by cutting and pasting with a razor and glue numerous sections from the New Testament as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus. Jefferson's condensed composition is especially notable for its exclusion of all miracles by Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural, including sections of the four gospels that contain the Resurrection and most other miracles, and passages that portray Jesus as divine.  The Jefferson Bible has been called "scripture by subtraction."  But, as Jon Gand shall show us, it was much more than that.

Jon Grand’s career has included fascinating jobs in environmental planning, including Director positions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Nordic/Baltic Region, in Copenhagen and in Chicago.  In 2006 he retired and began to work part time at The Book Stall.  A part-time job has turned into a more than full-time job which he loves.  Mr. Grand is a member of the Humanities Councils in Kentucky and Wisconsin and last spoke to us in 2014 on the book, Zealot.

View Event →
What Form Will Immigration Reform Take with a New President and Congress?
Jan
22
10:30 AM10:30

What Form Will Immigration Reform Take with a New President and Congress?

Guest Speaker: 

Julie Strauss, PH.D., Lecturer on American Politics

Immigration reform has been a key political issue for the past several elections, yet little has actually changed. In 2014, the Senate passed a comprehensive reform bill, but it failed to pass the House of Representatives.  We now have an incoming President who ran against liberalized immigration and who supports deporting undocumented immigrants - positions which galvanized many of his supporters, according to exit polls.  This development has dramatically shifted the contours of the debate.  Dr. Strauss will explore the political and policy repercussions of this multi-faceted issue.

Julie Strauss is a popular lecturer in American Politics, covering diverse course and lecture offerings including Money in Congress, Presidential Misconduct, The Media in Politics, The Women on the Supreme Court, Separation of Church and State and The Balance of Power between the Legislative and Executive Branches.  In addition to lecturing at local colleges and community centers, Julie has presented at several Road Scholar seminars. She received her Ph.D. in American Politics from Northwestern University.  

 

View Event →
A Midwest-Born Muslim's Story of Growing up Muslim in Chicago
Jan
15
10:30 AM10:30

A Midwest-Born Muslim's Story of Growing up Muslim in Chicago

Guest Speaker: 

Dawned Ali, IT Manager Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dawood Ali was born in Iowa to a Catholic American mother and a Muslim Indian father. He grew up as a practicing Muslim in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois with an engineering degree.  While his professional life has focused on engineering and information technology, in his personal life he has been engaged in Islamic learning and teaching since his teenage years.  He was actively involved in the operation of the Institute of Islamic Information and Education since its inception in 1986, eventually becoming its Managing Director.  Mr. Ali has been the Director of the Muslim Youth Camp for the Muslim Community Center of Chicago for 15 years, teaching boys ages 12-18 about life as a Muslim in America.  He is currently a speaker for the Muslim community to a variety of non-Muslim audiences, educating the public about Islam and Muslims. 

Come hear Mr. Ali’s story: his childhood in Chicago, his unique high school experience, a “traditional” marriage, being Muslim in the workplace, all while living through the blizzard of 1979, 80’s music, the 90’s tech boom and bust, the 9-11 tragedy, and the current political climate.

View Event →