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Sophia Center
Sophia Center for Culture and Spirituality - a wisdom center celebrating Earth, Art and Spirituality

Friday Night Conversations with visiting Sophia Center faculty

We invite the public to join our Sophia Center Weekend program master’s students at our Friday Night Conversations, the kick-off event for each weekend course. Get a taste of the Weekend program, that enables working adults to attain a master's degree in two years while delving deeply into the converging wisdom traditions that are the source of a new creation story.

LOCATION: Sophia Center Classroom (at Chapel level, look for signs —
see the Visitors Map)
Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Boulevard, Oakland, CA

R.S.V.P. 510-436-1046 or 800-794-8813

Open to the Public — Come Join Us!

september 12 — 7:00 PM ($15)

New Cosmology and the Great Spirit

Faith in the Great Spirit is a universal feature of indigenous – First Nations – peoples. It translates into an understanding of Holy Mystery significantly different from our conventional understandings of God – transcending all our inherited dualisms, and experience the Holy One deeply within creation’s evolutionary process and not apart from it.

Diarmuid O’Murchu, a member of the Sacred Heart Missionary Order, and a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin Ireland, is a social psychologist most of whose working life has been in social ministry, predominantly in London, UK. In that capacity he has worked as a couple’s counsellor, in bereavement work, AIDS-HIV counselling, and, in more recent times, with homeless people and refugees. As a workshop leader and group facilitator he has worked in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, The Philippines, Thailand, India, Peru and in several African countries, facilitating programmes on Adult Faith Development. His best known books include Quantum Theology (1996 - revised in 2004), Ancestral Grace (2008), Jesus in the Power of Poetry (2009), Christianity’s Dangerous Memory (2011), In the Beginning was the Spirit (2012), and God in the Midst of Change (2013).

October 17 — 7:00 PM ($15)

A Christian Understanding of “Christ” as Cosmic Power

For an increasing number of Christians, an understanding of the story of the universe and what we know from science is enhanced by the “Christ Story” and the perspective of faith. Building on the insights of his well-received Repair My House: Becoming a “Kindom” Catholic, Michael Crosby will show how his faith makes the story of evolution part and parcel of “God’s Economy” which must be the business of all of us.  

Michael Crosby is a Capuchin Franciscan living in Milwaukee. His friary is involved in direct service to the people of the central city area. Mike’s ministry is twofold: preaching and writing, along with socially responsible investing. For more about Mike see his website: www.michaelcrosby.net.

november 14 — 7:00 PM ($15)

Spiritual Entrepreneurship

Dr. William Hynes and Denise Rushing will introduce and explore both the principles and practical application of spiritual entrepreneurship. The focus will be on entrepreneurial energy as a transformational force in our world. We will explore the role entrepreneurship plays in evolving individual and collective spiritual consciousness, catalyzing communities and transforming the human economy into one that is just and sustainable.

Dr. William J. Hynes is a distinguished teacher, scholar, and educational leader and the president of Holy Names Dr. William J. Hynes is a distinguished teacher, scholar, and educational leader. After 40 years in higher education in Illinois, Colorado, North Carolina, California, and Wisconsin, Bill. Hynes returned to the Bay Area as President of Holy Names University. Dr. Hynes has been a professor, an administrator, an effective fund raiser, and the author of three books. He is concluding work on a fourth book on the Principles of Entrepreneurship based upon interviews with 30 entrepreneurs. His previous book, Mythical Trickster Figures with William Doty, was cited by The Times Literary Supplement as “an admirable successor” to Paul Radin’s classic study.

Denise Rushing, MA in Culture and Spirituality is an entrepreneur, business strategist and author of two books at the intersection of entrepreneurship, evolutionary spirituality and ecological design. Her third book Entrepreneurship as a Spiritual Practice will be available this summer. She is the creator of “the Big Why” telesummit and co-creator of Growing Edge (www.permaculturesoul.com) a blog and an ezine dedicated to exploring both the inner realm and inspired action. Influenced by evolutionary spirituality and ecological design, Denise sees entrepreneurial energy as key to creating a just and sustainable world. She leads sessions on spiritual entrepreneurship, engaged spirituality, and living the new story.

december 5 — 7:00 PM ($15)

Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy

In this workshop, Joanna will guide us in the Work That Reconnects. She will offer teachings and interactive processes that enliven our understanding of the hidden promise in the planetary crisis, and of our own power and authority to act on behalf of life on Earth. Drawn from deep ecology, living systems theory, and spiritual traditions, this group work grows our courage, resilience, and solidarity for the healing of our world. It helps us to clarify the survival skills needed for navigating the challenging times ahead, as well as the unique and particular roles we each want to play in the Great Turning. This experiential workshop is appropriate for all who wish to engage deeply with themselves and others, regardless of any prior experience with the Work That Reconnects.

Joanna Macy, Ph.D. Author, teacher, and eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, Ph.D., is known the world over for her workshops for social and environmental activists. Drawing on Buddhism, systems theory, and deep ecology, her Work That Reconnects helps people transform despair and apathy, in the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, into constructive, collaborative action. It brings a new way of seeing the world, as our larger living body, freeing us from the assumptions and attitudes that now threaten the continuity of life on Earth. Joanna is the author of several books, including her most recent with co-author Chris Johnstone, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy.


Find out more about the Sophia Center’s Weekend program »

Download a Sophia Center Weekend Course Descriptions flyer Download a PDF

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