Sunday, October 04, 2009

Oct 5-9 Programs

Jean’s Pick of the Week: No one so spirited as Karen Armstrong who can handle any attack with her own form of intellectual jiu-jitsu. “Why, I quite agree with you,” she kept saying to all her nay-sayers in her perfect Oxford accent, deflating their hostility on the instant and then trumping the argument by co-opting their best points and turning them to her advantage! The thing she said that stuck with me in her Case for God was that she was a miserable failure at meditation and for her the path back to faith was through her own chunky scholarship. She is my favorite public intellectual.

Our October Membership Drive begins this week, and thanks to you, we’ve already chopped a day off the drive and are hoping for another. At any rate, pledge days or not, we have some dandy programs in store for you:

Monday: I met Joe Kilikevice, the founder of the Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality in Oak Park, Illinois, last summer when he was leading Sufi Dances for Universal Peace at the Christine Center in Willard, Wisconsin. Joe is a Dominican brother who has adopted Sufism as a spiritual practice. Among other things, he offers Male Spirit retreats inspired by Rumi’s poem: “You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping at meanspirited roadhouses.” You gotta love him.

Tuesday: In Elephants on the Edge, G. A. Bradshaw, Director of the Kerulos Center for Animal Trauma Recovery and Co-founder of the Trans-Species Institute, marshals research from neuroscience,psychology, and animal behavior to argue that the mind of the elephant
is remarkably similar to our own. The shock of violent death,the grief of losing an infant, and the loss of freedom affect them in much the same way as people. A fascinating study.

Wednesday: The Cartoneres Literacy Movement: Few of us think too much about where books come from, but amidst poverty and low literacy rates, it is an important question. The Cartonera publishing movement of Latin America addresses poverty and literacy through employing cartoneros, garbage pickers, to collect cardboard to be used as covers for colorful, handmade, and cheap books. UW-Madison holds one of the largest collections of these books and editors from some of the most well-known Cartonera publishing houses will be in Madison this week for the first ever Cartonera Publishers Conference.

Thursday: This is your chance to get your name into a drawing for a state-of-the-art Apple iPod nano 16GB with MP3 Player loaded with the Best of Here on Earth! And interact with John Nichols about the Future of Journalism.

Friday: What’s fall without Apples? Every year, Wisconsin's Bayfield Apple Festival heralds the beginning of fall. This Food Friday we will speak to some local and some non-local apple growers about heritage varieties, cider-making, and this year's pick.


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