Institute Seal

 

Conference Room in Concord House


Suggestions for Study
Circles are always welcome.

Contact:
Donna at worldculture dot org

Newcomers are welcome to join at any time.
 

 

PAST STUDY CIRCLES

IWC 2018 STUDY CIRCLES
Tthe Study Circle meets on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Readings will be posted to the website in advance of each meeting
Groups meet at Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA

VISIONS OF AMERICA
FALL, 2018
October through December, 2018
TUESDAY EVENINGS FROM 7:30 TO 9:00 PM

FOR THIS NEW SEASON OF DISCUSSIONS, THE INSTITUTE STUDY CIRCLE WILL FOCUS ON diverse expressions of the distinctive visions of America
nurtured in American
history. The ideas and ideals of the Founding Brothers such as Jefferson, Paine and Franklin will provide a framework for focus on
the aims and purposes of the American experiment. The distinctive visions of the Transcendentalists, the Progressive Reformers and the cultural innovators in
literature, art and music will be explored. How the development of educational opportunities and civic participation drew out the potential for individual
freedom and social progress will be analyzed. The expansion of an inclusive global vision embedded in the promise of American ideals will be evaluated.
We will explore the concept of "vision" and how these visions have influenced 20th century and contemporary society will be identified.
Readings will be posted and questions will be encouraged.

Frederick Douglas Thomas Paine Great Seal of the United States native basketmaker
Utopian Experiments John Muir Thomas Jefferson Transcendentalists Frederick Douglass Thomas Paine Great Seal of the U.S. Edward Bellamy Native American Basketmaker

“Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed.
Man cannot make principles, he can only discover them.”  ~Age of Reason, Thomas Paine

SUGGESTED READINGS WILL BE POSTED BELOW AT LEAST A WEEK BEFORE EACH MEETING.

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTER-FRIENDLY LIST OF STUDY CIRCLE TOPICS

PRINTER-FRIENDLY SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS FOR THE FOLLOWING MONTHS:
OCTOBER 2018
NOVEMBER 2018


MEETING DATES

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION

PRESENTATIONS AND READINGS

October 2

Early Visions in Colonial America
The concept of "vision" and its relevance to America; John Winthrop on the beacon light on the hill; the Mayflower Compact on civil obligation; Roger Williams on religious freedom and the seperation of church and state; William Penn on the principles of conscience and non-violence; Anne Hutchinson on the inner light.

Suggested readings:
1. Universal Visions of America

October 9

Founding Vision of the Republic (1776–1821)
The Declaration of Independence, self-evident truths, liberty, equality, consent of the governed, and the pursuit of happiness; Thomas Paine on Deism, the rights of man, and the right of revolution

Suggested readings:
1. Religious and Poltical Thought of Tom Paine, James Tepfer
2. U.S. Declaration of Independence, Wikipedia
3. U.S. Declaration of Independence
4. U.S. Bill of Rights
. . . more to follow

October 16

Founding Vision of the Republic (continued)
Thomas Jefferson on education and natural law; a brief video presentation of Clay Jenkinson, award-winning, first-person interpreter, portraying Thomas Jefferson  

Suggested readings:
1.Thomas Jefferson on Education, Wikipedia


October 23

Founding Vision of the Republic (continued)
Benjamin Franklin on civil society and the value of science; the Great Seal of the United States

Suggested readings:
1.The Great Seal
Powerpoint presentation on The Great Seal

October 30

Founding Vision of the Republic (continued)
Benjamin Rush on practical innovations and education for young women; the voices of women, including Mercy Otis Warren and Abigail Adams

Suggested readings:
N/A

November 6

Founding Vision of the Republic (continued)
Hector de Crevecoeur on "What is an American?"

Suggested readings:
1. What is An America?
November 13
Utopian Visions of Community
Visions of America in art: The Hudson River School; Contemporary communal experiment: Occident Arts and Ecology Center
Suggested readings:
N/A
November 20
Utopian Visions of Community (continued)
Communal experiments: the Shakers, Brook Farm, eco villages and green communities
Suggested readings:
N/A
November 27
Utopian Visions of Community (continued)
Native American visions and contributions: The Iroquois Confederacy, Black Elk and the vision quest; Native American relationships with nature (Ishi)
Suggested readings:
N/A

 

 

 

December 4

The Transcendental Vision
Ralph Waldo Emerson on self-reliance. We will read parts of the first half of the essay aloud during the meeting and discuss.

Suggested reading:
"Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

December 11
The Transcendental Vision
We will continue with reading Emerson's essay on self-reliance, the second half. We will read parts of the essay aloud during the meeting and discuss.

Suggested reading:
"Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

HOLIDAY BREAK

December 18 and December 25

 

We will take a holiday break so there will be no meetings on December 18th or 25th. The Study Circle will resume with Visions of America on January 8th, 2019, of. Topics on that theme that we would like to consider are listed below.
 
 

VISIONS OF AMERICA (CONTINUED)

 

January

The Transcendental Vision
Ralph Waldo Emerson on the nature of the Over-Soul. We will read parts of the essay aloud during the meeting and discuss.

Suggested reading:
"The Over-Soul" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

New Approaches to Religion
The Republic of Mind and Spirit, Catherine Albanese; Liberal Theology; cosmic perspectives: Theosophy and New Thought; Self-discovery in the poetry of Walt Whitman; Parliament of the World’s Religions-west meets east

 

 

The Principles and Activism of the Abolition Movement
John Woolman on the abolition of slavery; the message of “The Liberator”; “Here I stand, I can do no other . . . ”; voices of protest: William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, John Brown, etc.; the Gettysburg Address and the leadership of Abraham Lincoln.

 
 

The Visions of Progressive Reform
Community activism for the poor: Jane Addams, Florence Kelley; political activism and legislative reform; the Socialist vision of Edward Bellamy; the promise of American life according to Herbert Croly

 

 

Visions of Nature and the Frontier
John Muir on conservation and the value of National Parks; the west/frontier as a teacher of humanity

 

 

Expressions of American Culture
Music: Aaron Copland; creativity and freedom in jazz; the comic vision of Mark Twain; the images and values in movies and the influence of radio; arts and crafts in America