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“One From Many Free Online Course

October 6, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

 “One from Many”: America’s original motto and unfinished project is a  free, online course offered by the Center for Religion in Public Life at Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa. This course will run from September 22 – October 13, 2022, and is taught by Instructor and Executive Director, Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend.

Course Description by Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend
I remember 1976, the year of our nation’s bicentennial celebration. Coming right after the end of the Vietnam War and Watergate, and with the unfinished work of the various civil rights movements on the national consciousness, Americans celebrated but clouds lingered.

I wonder what kind of celebration might be planned for 250 years in 2026—or will our dueling narratives simply make 2026 less a celebration than an occasion to reinforce the battle lines?

Can the people of the United States rise to the challenge to form a more perfect union—of the most diverse collection of persons ever in human history seeking to be one democratic republic—for the sake of justice, defense, the common welfare, the blessings of liberty, and peace? Can we approximate becoming, in the vision expressed in the nation’s first national motto, one from many, e pluribus unum?

For all of my career starting with my dissertation 35 years ago on the ecumenical movement, I’ve worked on the question of the nature of the communities we seek within our congregations and in our nation. What kinds of community can human beings achieve: how welcoming, how inclusive and diverse? Given human brain structures, cultures, ethics, religions, and a few thousand years of experience in cities and several hundred in nation-states, for what kind of community can we hope and work?

In the four lectures and discussions for this course, Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend will explore the following topics:

·    September 22: Why does the U.S. need many-ness? Why do we need oneness?

·    September 29: What are the metaphors we use to imagine what “one from many” means and looks like, in practice?

·    October 6: What are biological, cultural, historical, and religious obstacles to and resources for creating “one from many”?

·    October 13: What is the nature of the nation we seek?

Each week Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend will record and post a 25-40 minute lecture on the topic. Then on Thursday nights, September 22-October 13, at 7p central time, Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend will host a discussion of the week’s lecture.

Signup is easy. Just send Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend an email at crpl@ptstulsa.edu and indicate your interest.


October 6, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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