Institute of World Culture

Theme for 2019
FREEDOM, EXCELLENCE AND SELF-TRANSCENDENCE

The theme for the year is Freedom, Excellence and Self-Transcendence.  These core ideas point to fundamental potentials in human beings.  Each can be used to develop inner qualities of character in an individual, and each can be used to contribute to the culture of a society.  Together these ideas interact and nourish cultures.  In time, a world culture can emerge from the authentic development and use of these ideas.

All of the 10 Aims in the Declaration of Interdependence will offer seed ideas for the programs, but Aims #2 and #9 will receive particular attention.

Aim 2: 
To renew the universal vision behind the American Dream through authentic affirmations of freedom, excellence and self-transcendence in an ever-evolving Republic of Conscience.

Aim 9: 
To assist in the emergence of men and women of universal culture, capable of continuous growth in non-violence of mind, generosity of heart and harmony of soul.

flying eagle

 

 

Forum
Global Dialogue and Revolutionary Change

Saturday, January 12, 2019
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenters: Maurice Bisheff and Jenny Bisheff


In this forum, discussion will highlight the global dialogues at four international conferences whose abstract and concrete aims promoted human dignity, revolutionary change and greater freedom for human choice. These aims pointed to transformations in religion, universal philosophy, basic income programs, development of the commons and non-violence in education. Questions will be encouraged including whether these and many other global dialogues are icebergs covering a hidden revolution in global values and the expression of compassion. The presenters attended these conferences held during 2018, including the World Parliament of Religions held in Toronto with 10,000 participants.

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Seminar
Ecstatic Non-Violence in the North-West Frontier of British India,
1930s – 1050s

Saturday, January 26, 2019
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Safoora Arbab


In this seminar an original analysis will reveal how Abdul Ghaffar Khan encouraged and led a nonviolent resistance movement, Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) among the Pashtun people. Although Ghaffar Khan was referred to as a “frontier Gandhi”, study of Pashtun literature, especially poetry, shows that the values of this nonviolent movement reflected the local, indigenous codes of conduct in Pashtun tradition and metaphors of Islam. Illustrations of this local source of nonviolent embodiment will be drawn from the Pashto autobiography of Ghani Khan, from the voices of women published in the Pukhtun journal and from the iconic modern poetry of Ghani Khan. This perspective on the Khudai Khidmatgar movement is the subject of Safoora Arbab’s dissertation prepared at UCLA for the Department of Comparative Literature.

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Forum
The Origins of the Sanctuary Movement in Los Angeles:
Faith Politics and Religious Leadership

Saturday, February 9, 2019
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Mario T. Garcia


Professor Garcia, author of a recently published book on Father Luis Olivares, A Biography: Faith Politics and the Origin of the Sanctuary Movement in Los Angeles, will explain the history and evolution of this movement during the 1980s.  As a practitioner of Liberation Theology, Father Olivares, applied his Catholic faith toward the empowerment of the Latino community in Los Angeles and toward aiding Central American refugees and undocumented Mexican immigrants in the sanctuary.

Mario T. Garcia is a distinguished Professor of Chicano Studies and History at UCSB.

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Seminar
George Washington's Farewell Address:
His Warnings to the American People


Washington's farewell

Saturday, February 23, 2019
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Marlin Roehl


As George Washington completed his second term as President of the United States, he sent a letter to a newspaper giving his advice on how the principles of the new Republic could be preserved in practice. He warned of several dangers such as foreign entanglements and the divisive pursuit of private interests. These warnings are still current and will be discussed with the hope that the values of liberty, equality, justice and the rule of law will be pursued more fully. Washington is known for his leadership skills and his life-long ability to put public needs ahead of his private interest. He saw the experiment of the American Republic as a shared opportunity for self-definition and moral perfectibility in a well-ordered but fraternal society.

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Link to the Farewell Address
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Seminar
Progressive Reform and Women Activists

Jane Addams Lillian Wald Florence Kelley portrait

Saturday, March 9, 2019
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenters: Carolyn Dorrance and Donna Moore


In response to dramatic economic and social change in the late 19th century, many called for fundamental reforms such as the end of child labor, protections for industrial workers, women’s suffrage and the elimination of slum conditions and the political corruption that prevented reform. Among the voices for change were several women who plunged into activism ranging from founding settlement houses and health clinics to political campaigns to oust the corrupt and initiate protective legislation. The ideas and work of Jane Addams, Florence Kelly and Lillian Wald will be described in this seminar.

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Forum
A Grand Tour of the Solar System:
The Outer Planets and Trans-Neptunian Objects

Jupiter

Saturday, March 23, 2019
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenters: Russ Lewin and Carl Nolt


The outer planets of our solar system and TNO’s will be explored in light of the findings from recent and current NASA and ESA missions.  We will emphasize the Juno Mission at Jupiter and the Cassini Mission at Saturn.  Trans-Neptunian Objects will draw from the New Horizons Mission at Pluto and Ultima Thule.  Comets, the Kuiper Belt and some surprise objects will also be included.

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Film and Discussion
Brother Sun, Sister Moon

St. Francis

Saturday, April 6, 2019
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara


Brother Sun, Sister Moon is the 1972 film about the life of St. Francis of Assisi, directed by Franco Zeffirelli.  Raised as an pampered and privileged young man, Francesco returns from a war and undergoes a physical and spiritual transformation. He renounces his wealthy, aristocratic life, and begins a life of poverty and service to the poor while rebuilding the remains of a chapel. Various conflicts and challenges arise, culminating in Francesco’s visit to the Pope in Rome, a scene ripe with its own challenges. The story is complimented by lush cinematography, music and songs by folk singer Donovan.                             

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Forum
Jazz du Jour

jazz musical notes

Saturday, April 20, 2019
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Sandy Cummings


Jazz du Jour, led by vocalist Sandy Cummings and accompanied by Woody De Marco on keyboard and Hank Allen on bass, will present a program of standards.  They will discuss what 'standard' jazz is, relative to other forms of the genre.  The band will present music from the American Song Book. Composers such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jimmy van Heusen, Duke Ellington, and the like will be the source of the music of the day. They will also demonstrate improvisation, styles, and how a group works together in a collaborative way to put their own stamp on the material.  In addition, they will talk briefly about the history of the art form.

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Forum
Plato on Freedom, Excellence, and Self-Transcendence

Plato portrait

Saturday, May 11, 2019
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Phillip Greene


A distinctive way to think about Plato’s ideas of freedom, excellence and self-transcendence is to compare them with those of the sophists and discover  the contrasts revealed in their debates about crucial moral and political issues. The contrasts in the root assumptions of Plato and the sophists can be discovered by examining propositions such as: “A good man cannot be harmed,”  “All of life is a preparation for death,”  and ”Virtue is knowledge.” How the human soul is the vehicle for self-transcendence, according to Plato, will be examined also.

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Forum
William Butler Yeats: Poetry, Politics, and Mysticism

William Butler Yeats portrait

Saturday, May 25, 2019
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Jerry Hejka-Ekins


In this forum a broad panorama of the life and work of William Butler Yeats will be presented. Particular emphasis will be given to the role of Irish mythology and folklore in his early work and some later poems, as well as his role in the Irish Literary Renaissance. Reference will be made to his lifelong interest in the paranormal and to mysticism. A consideration of a selection of his poems illustrates his symbolism and the themes important to him.   

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