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Coffee Lectures

REACHING FOR HEAVEN - The Story of Bryn Athyn
Presenter: Bob Brooke
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Nearby, on the northern edge of Philadelphia, stands a magnificent Gothic cathedral. As if plucked from history, this house of worship rises above the little borough of Bryn Athyn, home to the New Church. Come back through history to learn how Bryn Athyn and The New Church came to be and wonder through the halls of Glencairn, one of the most unusual house museums in the country.


Unpacking Our Boxes: Duty, Discovery, Depth
Presenter: Carolyn Guss
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
The esteemed poet Donald Hall, in his 70s, wrote a memoir, Unpacking the Boxes, about his life as a writer. We all have many boxes of our lives to unpack: the personal, familial, professional and secret. In this interactive lecture-workshop, we will discuss the variety of those boxes, along with the challenges of packing—and unpacking—the containers that we call our lives. 


Presenter: Sharon Latchaw Hirsh, PhD ’70
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Held in The Rotwitt Theater of McShain Performing Arts Center
This class will explore the art of French painters whose use of color was so bold and anti-naturalistic (pink trees and purple faces) that a critic dubbed them as “wild beasts” when they first showed their work in 1905. Amazingly, they did not exist as a group prior to that exhibition; a couple of them knew each other but not all, and not as an established group. Instead, their very similar styles developed individually but based on common influences in the work of the generation of painters preceding them, primarily the Symbolists. We will discuss color theory as well as France in 1905, and we will look at a lot of stunning canvases that may well enhance your own sense of color.


The Value of History: An Interactive Discussion
Presenter: Nick Eiteljorg
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
What excites — or bores — you about history? What makes you read on? What makes you shut the book and do something else? These are questions we will discuss. Note the term discuss; this is meant to be a discussion, not a lecture. We will explore what makes people enjoy learning history — and what makes them go the other way. Many years ago a philosopher named George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Many have quoted him in agreement and admiration and as a way to encourage people to learn about the past. Do you agree with his view? If not, why not? What is your contrary idea? Please join us for a spirited discussion.


Presenter: Christine Emmert
Monday, December 4, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
RUTH’S DAUGHTERS takes a dip into the large and talented pool of female Jewish writers starting with Ruth’s song of devotion to her mother-in-law and coming into contemporary times with Anne Frank, Gertrude Stein, Norah Ephron and others.