Common Ground Blog
Jim will be teaching classes for the time being via
Contact the North Shore Senior Center for more information.

(Click "Read More" for description.)

Class ID: 8678
Instructor : Jim Kenney  Location : ONLINE from Northfield, North Shore Senior Center
Schedule : Weekly - Tue 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM; 3 sessions; starting 3/31/2020, ending 4/14/2020

Non-Member: $0.00   Member: $0.00

Jim will be doing two online (ZOOM) classes for National Louis, beginning on April 16 (Thursday series) and April 17 (Friday series). 

TO REGISTER: Click here
$75 for each four-week class. Take two classes and get one free.

Thursdays (April 16-May 7, 1:00-2:30 pm), with Jim and Adam Rose: 
"How Four Western Religious Traditions Deal(t) with Death."

Fridays (April 17-May 8, 1:00-2:30 pm), with Jim Kenney: 
"Testing the Conservative Soul and the Liberal Soul." 

For more information, click "Read More."
Great news! Some of your favorite Common Ground teachers will be offering programs at the North Shore Senior Center, beginning in January 2020. Click "Read More" for a list of Winter offerings.

How to Register:

  • Mail a completed registration form with payment to North Shore Senior Center, 161 Northfield Rd., Northfield, IL 60093 
  • Online at
  • Telephone Lifelong Learning office at 847.784.6030 between 9am and 4pm, Monday through Friday
  • Walk in to register in Lifelong Learning, between 9am and 4pm, Monday through Friday

Dear Friends

It’s a bittersweet time for all of us at Common Ground. Sadly, the time has come to send off our last Bulletin and to convene our closing series of great classes. But there is also a very happy note to be sounded. May 7 will mark the 45th anniversary of the day when Ron Miller and I signed the articles of incorporation for CG. Not many non-profit organizations flourish for so long.

The Common Ground web site will remain active. For now, it will have two sections:

1) The Common Ground Blog, featuring upcoming presentations by Jim and other CG teachers as well as various items of interest to friends of CG. The Blog will also include occasional items of interest to the Common Ground family.

2) The Sea Change Blog, featuring Jim's thoughts on his favorite topic, Cultural Evolution and the rare periods of accelerated progressive value shift that he calls "sea changes."
Continue reading more on Common Ground Blog

Sea Change Blog
Why do so many people believe such unbelievable things? Why do others so easily see through "crazy claims?" There are at least two major value clusters -- Two Cultures -- in our popular and political discourse. They explain a great deal.

Click here for Jim Kenney's handout on "The Two Cultures."
We hear constantly about how deeply polarized our nation has become. I personally believe we're closer to 65%-35% on critical issues than the polarization pundits' imagined 50-50 split. But it's true that there are at least two major value clusters in our popular and political discourse. I think they  explain a great deal.
The renowned Oxford scholar of the history of fascism, Roger Griffin, offers a brilliant short definition of this ugly political dynamic. "Fascism is a political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism."
The most significant of these three identifiers is the first, "palingenetic." Derived from the Greek (palin, "again") and the Latin (genesis, "birth"), the word was ancient term for reincarnation. More recently, it simply means "rebirth." And rebirth is perhaps the core fascist idea. But a new birth demands a new past, that is, a reimagining of a culture's origins. As it seeks a "new birth" or a "reincarnation" of the culture and state, fascism requires a new (and necessarily false) account of who we are, who we were, and how we got to the here and now. Fake history is a necessary ingredient in the making of the fascist state.
Fascism demands a well-woven but deeply flawed account of a culture's origins, history, and vision of itself.

Continue reading more on Sea Change Blog
Latest Bulletin
The Common Ground Bulletin will no longer be printed.
About Common Ground

Founded by Ron Miller and Jim Kenney in 1975, Common Ground is a center for inquiry, study, and dialogue. Our primary concern is the human quest for understanding and the human pursuit of significance. While our endeavor began with the study of world religions and the commitment to inter-faith dialogue, our range of program offerings has been greatly expanded over the past several years.

Today, our primary focus is on the world's great cultural, philosophical, religious, and spiritual traditions and their implications for every dimension of human experience. Our course offerings include a tremendous variety of topics, including, but not limited to: history, literature, art, science, psychology, business, relationship, health, and personal growth. Our programs are shaped to meet the needs of all who are excited by ideas and serious about the quest.

Common Ground is for those who are already deeply grounded in their own traditions and for those who are still searching. It is a place for all who are fascinated by the convergence of the ancient with the modern, of East with West, and of spirituality with planetary reality. Common Ground brings together a knowledge of the past and a vision of the future for a better understanding of the present.

Common Ground is a fully registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.