Santa Clara University

Osher Lifelong Learning

Fall 2006


  • Astronomy: The Stars (from dust to black holes)
  • The Economy and You
  • A Spiritual Odyssey Through the Gospel of John
  • The Historical Jesus
  • Genetically Modified Foods: The Risks and Benefits


  • Dreamwork Series
  • Enjoying and Utilizing Your Retirement
  • Game Face
  • Taking Charge of your Health Care
  • Holiday Letter Writing



Astronomy: The Stars (from dust to black holes)--taught by Bill Pezzaglia
All of the elements of which we are made were originally made of stars. How are stars born, and what does this say about the origins of our own planet earth? Is global warming just due to the sun getting hotter as it ages? How long will the sun live before it blows up? Recently there have been exciting new discoveries proving the existence of neutron stars and black holes; what are they , and how do they relate to the death of stars?

The Economy and You--taught by Thomas Russell
 What are the risks to the world economy? Is the European economy doomed to stagnation? Does the US face serious problems of budget deficits? How should pensions be financed and organized? Is China's growth sustainable? These are just a few of the big questions that policy-oriented economists are asked to give their opinions about. This course will address these and other issues linking them to decisions we all must make with respect to earning, saving, retiring, and many other major life decisions.

A Spiritual Odyssey Through the Gospel of John--taught by Joseph Grassi
This gospel takes the form of a journey for a reader accompanying Jesus. On the way you will have the opportunity to meet and know many people of the Bible, such as Jesus' mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Peter, Judas, Thomas, the Samaritan woman and others. This gospel invites you to share your own spiritual journey with them and gain new insights in the process.

The Historical Jesus--taught by Romn Hansen
The course will consider the limited amount of information we have on Jesus outside the gospel texts, and then examine what a variety of eminent scholars have surmised from the information. John Dominic Crossan and "The Jesus Seminar" view Yeshua of Nazareth quite differently from John P. Meier, say, or Gary Habermas. The class will acquaint students with the general outline of the gospel stories and the extra biblical mentions of Jesus. It will also look at varying approaches, whether skeptical or loyal, to certain crucial elements of the gospel texts, such as the family of Jesus, his message and miracles, and the crucifixion and resurrection.

Genetically Modified Foods: The Risks and Benefits--taught by Bill Eisinger
There is an enormous popularity of genetically modified (GM) foods among farmers around the world. What GM foods are in the grocery store today? The United States has unusual labeling laws that prevent most people from knowing that they are eating GM foods. We will talk about the controversies and concerns of GM foods worldwide and discuss the future of GM foods.


Dreamwork Series--Jeremy Taylor D. Min
How do dreams help us see into the mirror clearly and accept who we are? From that acceptance can come creative ways to be our true selves in the world. In this series of workshops, we will explore the ways we can help ourselves and each other by paying close attention to even the most mundane dreams. Every dream comes to tell us something new and each dream aids our health and wholeness.

Enjoying and Utilizing your Retirement--taught by Steve Galley

Game Face: "What does a Female Athlete Look Like?"
Game Face is the extraordinary and critically acclaimed photography exhibition that celebrates the role of sports in the lives of girls and women. The compelling photographs and rich personal stories that make up Game Face document the tremendous impact that sports has on our daily lives. We have compiled an interesting lecture series that examines the role of sports and teamwork, which can apply to everyone's life.

Taking Charge of Your Health Care--taught by Cathy Patton, RN.
This lecture will address topics such as: understanding and utilizing the health care delivery system, choosing a primary care physician, and preparing for doctor visits.

Holiday Letter Writing--taught by Simone Billings and Mike Ballen
Do you enjoy reading the holiday letters enclosed with cards you receive from friends? Are you looking to spice your letters up this year? For this four-hour workshop, bring a few photographs for scanning and bring some ideas that you would like to highlight from the past year. At the end of the workshop, you may well have a newsletter ready for inclusion in your holiday cards to family and friends. Mike Ballen will also include a short example of a "video holiday letter" that you can email to your family and friends.

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