The Sophia Center

Sophia Center

Holy Names University's Sophia Center in Culture and Spirituality offers students of the world a meaningful immersion into and investigation of the convergent forces of religion, art, justice, and science. For the Conversations Series, it regularly invites from the community artists, activists, ritual makers, theologians, ecologists and other contemporary spiritual leaders to share their wisdom and bring fresh perspective to the students and faculty.

Pricing:
Unless otherwise noted, all Sophia events are $15.00. Please call 510-436-1046 or 800-794-8813 to RSVP.

Keeping the Faith Without a Religion

Date: Friday, April 25, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Sophia Center Classroom
Pricing: all Sophia events are $15.00. Please call 510-436-1046 or 800-794-8813 to RSVP.

What does it mean to be spiritual but not necessarily religious? We shall explore a spirituality that derives its practices and orientation from the contingencies of everyday life – how our immersion in change, dark times, imperfection, beauty, joy and more can be the gateway to transcendance. 

Roger Housden is the author of twenty books on poetry, transformation and pilgrimage, including the best-selling Ten Poems to Change Your Life series. His latest book is Keeping The Faith Without a Religion, published in March 2014 with Sounds True.

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New Cosmology and the Great Spirit

Date: Friday, September 19, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Sophia Center Classroom
Pricing: all Sophia events are $15.00. Please call 510-436-1046 or 800-794-8813 to RSVP.

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).

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A Christian Understanding of “Christ” as Cosmic Power

Date: Friday, October 17, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Sophia Center Classroom
Pricing: all Sophia events are $15.00. Please call 510-436-1046 or 800-794-8813 to RSVP.

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.

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Spiritual Entrepreneurship

Date: Friday, November 14, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Sophia Center Classroom
Pricing: all Sophia events are $15.00. Please call 510-436-1046 or 800-794-8813 to RSVP.

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.

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Past Events

Ancient Indigenous Healing for the Twenty-First Century

Friday, January 24, 2014

The evolutionary changes occurring on the planet today are calling forth new and expanded methods for resolving social dilemma. This intensive will present innovative perspectives on how the New Cosmology Story can be interwoven into a new story of Social Justice, Restorative Justice, and the Eradication of Racism. 

Bonnie Wills received her Bachelors’ Degree in Social Ecology at John F. Kennedy University, a Masters in Culture and Spirituality at Holy Names University, and a Masters in Religion and Philosophy at California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a Certified Diversity Facilitator, a Licensed Spiritual Practitioner, and a Restorative Justice Facilitator and Trainer. She currently facilitates Restorative Justice Groups at San Quentin Prison and COSA (Circles of Support and Accountability) groups for formally incarcerated youth. Bonnie is committed to a compassionate, just, and inclusive planet. Through her work, she strives to support the eradication of “isms” and social injustice within our homes, workplaces, communities, institutions, and the planet.


Jesus, Buddism and Jazz - Ecumenical Spirituality for an Ecological Civilization

Friday, February 21, 2014

McDaniel will introduce and explore the process-relational way of thinking, rooted in the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. The focus will be on the role that music (including jazz) can play in helping us live into sustainable community, to the role that Buddhism now plays in evolving spiritual consciousness in North American and Europe, and to the embodied, incarnational engagement with the world to which the image of Jesus points.  

Jay McDaniel, author of six books at the intersection of religion and ecology, is the editor of a website called Jesus, Jazz, and Buddhism: Relational Thinking for a More Hospitable World. (www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org)  Influenced by process theology, Jay is a Christian influenced by Buddhism who has been teaching courses in the various world religions for thirty years at a liberal arts college in Arkansas: Hendrix College.  He also works often in mainland China, with academics and ordinary citizens interested in a greening of China and a recovery of wisdom from Confucianism and Daoism for a postmodern era.  He will lead sessions on east-west dialogue, Christianity as influenced by Buddhism, process or relational thinking, and, not least, jazz.


Living Life to the Fullest

Friday, March 21, 2014

We will explore life-meaning and practices that joyfully nourish and sustain us in work for Earth, justice and peace.  Our time together will include conversation, song and gracious ritual.

Sister Helen Prejean, a native of Louisiana, is known internationally for her tireless work against the death penalty. She was instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the issue and in shaping public opinion for its abolition. Sister Helen is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille. She is the author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions.

Marya Grathwohl. A Franciscan Sister since 1963, Marya  lived for over thirty years in African American, Crow and Northern Cheyenne communities.  She earned an MA in Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies.  As founder and director of Earth Hope, she worked as consultant for a women's center in Northern Cheyenne country, assisting with the development of wind and solar energy, ground-source heating and cooling, water catchment, a greenhouse, raised bed gardens and native prairie restoration.  Earth Hope sponsors two Transition Initiatives as well as cosmology classes in jails in CA and NY.