Taking a philosophical view in Westlake

Case Western Reserve University’s Off-Campus Studies program is offering a course on "The Search for Meaning in a Secular Age" this fall. In an earlier age, Dante's "Divine Comedy" provided mankind with a transcendent sense of the universe. Alternatively, in our modern times, Melville's "Moby Dick" wrested that profound sense of the universal from man.

The class will discuss the book, "All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age," by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly. In this broad survey of some of the world's greatest thinkers and writers, the authors argue that the malaise of contemporary society, beset with violence and selfish preoccupation, is the result of man having forgotten the aspirational aspect of life.

No longer are the ideas of Truth and Beauty relevant in today's globalized world. Because life has become about the persistent acquisition of wealth, power and entertainment, the authors argue we have clearly lost our way to our own humanity. This book stands as a tribute to the ancient notions of what it means to be alive.

The leader-teacher is Charlene Mileti; she holds a BFA from Kent State University, an MA in philosophy from the University of Toledo and a JD from Cleveland State University. Mileti has worked as a law clerk, trial attorney in civil law, and taught in the MBA program for Ashland University.

The Off-Campus Studies program is presented in collaboration with the Association for Continuing Education (ACE). Courses are eight weeks long and meet for 1.5 hours per class in locations throughout Greater Cleveland. There are no written assignments or exams, but rather the classes provide an open environment for lively discussion based on meaningful examinations of shared texts.

Leader-teachers facilitate the discussion and provide academic background and context. Designated class coordinators volunteer to serve as the liaison between the office and the study groups. Participation is open to everyone and groups welcome new members with enthusiasm. New groups are welcome; sessions require a minimum of 10 participants.

This group will be meeting at Westlake United Methodist Church, 27650 Center Ridge Road, on Thursdays, Sept. 24-Nov. 12, from 10-11:30 a.m. The fee is $80; to register online, go to acesite.org/catalog; to register by phone, call 216-368-2090. (Make sure to specify the Thursday class in Westlake – it's also being offered at another location on Tuesdays.)

If you have questions, feel free to call 440-777-9381.

Joan Grace

Coordinator for Case Off-Campus Studies in Westlake

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Volume 7, Issue 17, Posted 8:50 AM, 09.01.2015