Common Ground Blog
The Global Lecture Hall will offer two new series featuring Jim Kenney, one in September and one in October. (Click here to read about "Rise of Humans" with a link to more about "Election 2020.")

September 12-26, Saturdays, 1:00-2:00 PM CST (3 weeks; 1 hour, with 30-minute Open Forum to follow)  $35
"The Rise of Humans"

October 3-24, 
Saturdays, 1:00-2:00 PM CST (4 weeks; 1 hour, with 30-minute Open Forum to follow)  $45
"2020—The Election of a Lifetime"

The Global Lecture Hall is your portal to a growing collection of upcoming and recorded presentations on a wide range of topics. In the early stages of the program's development, most Global Lecture Hall presentations will be offered by Jim Kenney. Over time, our list of presenters will be significantly extended.

Visit the new Global Lecture Hall website to learn about this wonderful new online resource.

Click here to download "The Interreligious Insight Paradigm," by Jim Kenney and Alan Race.

Click here to download "Wheel of Religions" for "Three Modes of Encountering Other Religions."

Click here to download "Troll Sphere" handout for "Facebook, Social Media, and Election 2020" workshop.

Click here to download pdf of 4 slides: "JK WebSite Choices," from "Facebook, Social Media..." workshop.

Click here to download "Conspiracy Theory—Two Cultures" handout for "Facebook, Social Media, and Election 2020" workshop.

NOTE: Jim Kenney's classes are, for the time being, online via
Contact the North Shore Senior Center for more information.

Election 2020: A Preview (Online)
(Click "Read More" for description.)

Class ID: 8979
Instructor : Jim Kenney 
Location : ONLINE from Northfield, North Shore Senior Center
Schedule : Weekly — Tue 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM; 2 sessions; starting 7/21/2020, ending 7/28/2020 Call the North Shore Senior Center for more information or to register (847-784-6030).
Non-Member: $28   Member: $20

Jim's next online (ZOOM) classes for National Louis, begins on July 17 (Friday series). 

TO REGISTER: please contact Beth Epstein-Rosenthal at or 224.233.2366 
$75 for the four-week class. 

Fridays (July 17-August 7, 1:00-2:30 pm), with Jim Kenney: 
"The Mysterious History of Secret Societies"

For more information, click "Read More."

Click here to download the National Louis Fall Flyer

Click here to download "Twelfth-Century Renaissance," Jim's handout for "Secret Societies"
Continue reading more on Common Ground Blog

Sea Change Blog
Why do so many people believe such unbelievable things? Why do others so easily see through "crazy claims?" There are at least two major value clusters -- Two Cultures -- in our popular and political discourse. They explain a great deal.

Click here for Jim Kenney's handout on "The Two Cultures."
We hear constantly about how deeply polarized our nation has become. I personally believe we're closer to 65%-35% on critical issues than the polarization pundits' imagined 50-50 split. But it's true that there are at least two major value clusters in our popular and political discourse. I think they  explain a great deal.
The renowned Oxford scholar of the history of fascism, Roger Griffin, offers a brilliant short definition of this ugly political dynamic. "Fascism is a political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism."
The most significant of these three identifiers is the first, "palingenetic." Derived from the Greek (palin, "again") and the Latin (genesis, "birth"), the word was ancient term for reincarnation. More recently, it simply means "rebirth." And rebirth is perhaps the core fascist idea. But a new birth demands a new past, that is, a reimagining of a culture's origins. As it seeks a "new birth" or a "reincarnation" of the culture and state, fascism requires a new (and necessarily false) account of who we are, who we were, and how we got to the here and now. Fake history is a necessary ingredient in the making of the fascist state.
Fascism demands a well-woven but deeply flawed account of a culture's origins, history, and vision of itself.

Continue reading more on Sea Change Blog
Latest Bulletin
The Common Ground Bulletin is no longer printed.
About Common Ground

Founded by Ron Miller and Jim Kenney in 1975, Common Ground was a center for inquiry, study, and dialogue. Our primary concern is the human quest for understanding and the human pursuit of significance. While our endeavor began with the study of world religions and the commitment to inter-faith dialogue, our range of program offerings has been greatly expanded over the past several years.

CG's primary focus was on the world's great cultural, philosophical, religious, and spiritual traditions and their implications for every dimension of human experience. Our course offerings included a tremendous variety of topics, including, but not limited to: history, literature, art, science, psychology, business, relationship, health, and personal growth. Our programs were shaped to meet the needs of all who are excited by ideas and serious about the quest.

Common Ground was for those who are already deeply grounded in their own traditions and for those who are still searching. It is a place for all who are fascinated by the convergence of the ancient with the modern, of East with West, and of spirituality with planetary reality. Common Ground brings together a knowledge of the past and a vision of the future for a better understanding of the present.

The work of Common Ground continues today, in small part, in the Global Lecture Hall with Jim Kenney
Click here to visit GLH.