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.

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Common Ground Teachers at the North Shore Senior Center • Winter 2020

Ahmad Sadri
Iran and Saudi Arabia Today 

Iran and Saudi Arabia are two fundamentalist states in the Middle East. They are engaged in a virtual holy war as well as a war by proxy in Yemen and Syria. But these nations could not be more different in other ways. Just in terms of years, the Persian Empire was founded 2500 years ago while the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is only two years older than its current king. The puritan brand of Wahabism, the Saudi state religion created 150 years ago has emerged as the religion of Islamist terrorism while the militant Shiism of the Iranian revolution that came to power 40 years ago, has lost steam and is in rapid decline. Ahmad Sadri will explore the differences of these two regimes before explaining the roots of their current conflict.

Wednesday, January 22   10 – 11:30am    $12 member  $17 non-member        #8375

Ahmad Sadri
The Wonders of Persia

Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Iran inform the basic personality of every Iranian. It is that complex millennial combination that makes them tick. Ahmad will explore that legacy and shed light on the meaning of being an Iranian in the wake of the Islamic Revolution of 1978.

Thursday, February 13  10 – 11:30am    $12 member  $17 non-member           #8376


Jim Kenney
Enemies or Just Rivals? — The U.S. and China

Tariffs, copyright infringement, trade wars, and even the specter of dueling autocracies. What’s going on between the United States and China? Are the prospects as dire as some commentators would have us believe, or is the global duality potentially benign and even economically and culturally stimulating?

Wednesday, March 4   1 – 2:30pm    $15 member  $20 non-member             #8378


Jerrol Leitner
Diversity in Early Christianity

A cartoon shows Jesus ascending into Heaven with only his feet still below the clouds. His disciples cry out, “Don’t go yet, Lord, you didn’t fix the details!” Without those details, the early community struggles to find its identity and its message. Who is this Jesus who surprisingly rose from the dead? How should we organize our community? What scriptures should we accept? The answers vary dramatically, and the first centuries of the church present a fascinating account of a believing community believing different things.

Wednesdays, April 1 – 8  (2 sessions)  10 – 11:30am   $24 member  $34 non-member       #8377


Jim Kenney
Two Ways of Being Muslim: Sunni and Shi’a

The two main branches of Islam have lived in hidden or apparent tension since the death of prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. Jim will make political and sociological sense of that divide and its continuing intellectual, social and political ramifications down to the present-day tensions in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Syria.

Wednesday, April 15   10 – 11:30am    $15 member  $20 non-member       #8379