Upcoming Events
  • Ahmad Sadri
10/17/2018
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Morning Workshop
Common Ground Deerfield
Reform in Christianity and Judaism had one goal: Adaptation to Modernity. What are the paths to reform in the Islamic world? These two lectures constitute an attempt to answer that question.
  • Jim Kenney
10/19/2018
7:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Satellite
Common Ground Grayslake
The dance of science and religion has been long and often tortured. This lecture will begin with the Medieval period and then touch on the 16th-century Scientific Revolution. Finally we’ll move into the modern period and try to understand the changing relationship of religion and science.
  • Jim Kenney
10/23/2018
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Morning Workshop
Common Ground Deerfield
Galvanized by the growth of nationalism, racism, and hatred in our time, Pulitzer Prize-winner Jon Meacham has written a serious but hopeful assessment of the long American struggle with "anger, intolerance, and extremism." The subtitle of The Soul of America evokes Lincoln's celebrated First Inaugural Address and its closing call to "the better angels of our nature." Those angels, Meacham argues, have never deserted us.
  • Ahmad Sadri
10/24/2018
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Morning Workshop
Common Ground Deerfield
Reform in Christianity and Judaism had one goal: Adaptation to Modernity. What are the paths to reform in the Islamic world? These two lectures constitute an attempt to answer that question.
  • Jim Kenney
10/30/2018
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Morning Workshop
Common Ground Deerfield
What's happening as the United States girds for the 2018 midterm elections? Is Donald Trump's base steady and will it be enough to make his electoral blessing an advantage for GOP candidates? Or has Trump's idiosyncratic presidency cost the Republican Party too much? We'll take up these questions and more as we survey a wide range of likelihoods and possibilities in the final days of a fraught election year.
Common Ground Blog
We're sorry to announce that Pauline Viviano's Wednesday morning (9:30-11:30) class has been cancelled. A ComEd just=scheduled outage is the reason.
Click here to download a pdf copy of Common Ground's Fall 2018 Bulletin.
Common Ground prides itself on its faculty. Most of our resource persons hold academic positions, but all have considerable experience and expertise in one or more fields. And, most important, they're all good teachers!

Get to know them. You won't be disappointed.
(Click "Read More" to view the list of teachers for the current Bulletin period.)
Continue reading more on Common Ground Blog



Sea Change Blog
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.

Jim Kenney has just published a new article in the latest issue of Interreligious Insight. 
Click here to download the article.
Oscar Wilde once wrote that politicians aren't great liars: "They never rise beyond the level of misrepresentation.... How different from the temper of the true liar, with his frank, fearless statements, his superb irresponsibility, his healthy, natural disdain of proof of any kind! After all, what is a fine lie? Simply that which is its own evidence." 

We can easily imagine how Oscar Wilde might respond to the preposterous late-night fabrications and rally falsehoods that characterize the discourse of the current occupant of America's center of government. What we should ask instead is this: how will a sitting president's indifference to the truth affect America's political, social, and even existential future? Is there, in other words, light at the end of the post-truth tunnel?
Continue reading more on Sea Change Blog
Latest Bulletin
The Common Ground Bulletin is sent three times each year and highlights various items of Common Ground.

DOWNLOAD CG SPRING-SUMMER 2018 BULLETIN
(Click here.)

 
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.