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South Coast Senior College

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Religious Conversion... What is it?


with Steven Piker

Calendar Mar 10, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Of what does religious conversion consist? There has been and continues to be alot of conversion in our American world.  We will see conversion as an integral part of the entire life of the convert, a part in which the convert has considerable creative agency.  We will look especially for both changes and continuities in converts’ lives across the conversion itself by consulting detailed case materials, some of them arising from my own research.  We will want to grasp conversion from the convert’s point oƒ view……. how the convert understands and experiences it, what it feels like and tastes like and smells like to the convert.  We will get to know a couple of religious converts real well.  Some lecture, more discussion

SUGGESTED reading .  Shirley Nelson.  THE LAST YEWAR OF THE WAR(new from Amazon at $30, used at $5.27 or less); and an unpublished ms., to be circulated among all class members at no costt.

Your instructor:

Steven Piker is an anthropologist. He has done field work in Thailand and the U.S. His main interests include religion, American Indians and human evolution. He taught for 44 years at Swarthmore College. Four of our Maine senior colleges have provided his popular coiurses.

Starts March 10  1-3pm



with Mike Berkowitz

Calendar Apr 4, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 8 weeks

Patrick Henry, George Washington, Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Chief Joseph, FDR. Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Chase Smith, Martin Luther King, Jr., JFK, Ronald Reagan, and many others made speeches of great importance.  For about 40 speeches, we will look at their context and their major sections. Then we will focus on just how prophetically they apply to today.

Your instructor:

Mike taught in day care centers, elementary schools, and colleges before finding his niche at senior college.  He enjoys challenging people to think in new ways.

This class will be held jointly with York County Senior College on ZOOM starting Tuesday April 4th 1-3pm with 8 sessions.


Persia.... now Iran


with Louis Salome

Calendar Apr 5, 2023 at 12 pm, runs for 4 weeks

Most of what Americans know about Persia comes from the Greeks via the Persian wars -- Thermopylae, Pheidippides and the Battle of Marathon, the naval battle at Salamis, Cyrus the Great, Xerxes and Darius. We know little or nothing of what a great empire ancient Persia was. Most of the rest of what we know flows from post-1979, when Iranians seized the U.S. embassy in Teheran and held 52 foreign service officers hostage for 444 days. We are taught little or nothing of Persia's place in the world from the ancients to the moderns, or of its critical location which constantly tempted Russia, the Ottoman Empire and more recently the West during the Cold War and the Age of Oil. We will start this class, not at the beginning of time, but at the now, with the rise of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979. Only then will we return to the beginning.

Your Instructor:  Lou Salome

 Lou is the author of "Violence, Veils and Bloodlines: Reporting from War zones in Europe, Asia and Africa" . He earned a BS from the College of the Holy Cross and a MA from Boston College. He is a retired COX Newspapers reporter who has covered the conflicts in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

A Good Look at the Good Book


with Paul Doherty

Calendar Apr 10, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Exploring the Bible as History and Literature...No written work has had the same impact or has sold as many copies over the past two millennia or so as the Judeo Christian scripture we know as the Bible. This unique collection of various literary styles, fascinating characters, and compelling stories blending both history and myth has been read and studied by great numbers of people, believers and non-believers alike, influencing along the way as well so much art, literature, music, and theater. Join us as we explore these stories and histories, as well as the Bible's own intriguing history and impact.

Paul Doherty is an armchair theologian with experience in music, broadcasting, and ministry. He has also been teaching for several years at two Maine senior colleges, including South Coast.


This class will be offered in person at the York Chamber of Commerce and on ZOOM at the same time..

Monday April 10, 17, 24  May 1,8,15  1pm to 3pm 

American Indian Renaissance


with Steven Piker

Calendar Apr 21, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 6 weeks

The U.S is, arguably, the most plural of all nations.  But…… can our nation's pluralism accommodate Indian identities? At the end of the 19th century, many Indians as well as settlers  thought, no, it cannot; and expected Indian cultures soon to disappear entirely.  From what was then known and knowable, a sensible expectation…….. which, however, has been falsified by a vibrant Indian cultural renaissance during the 20th century…… which is the subject matter of this course.  Course themes include….Indian agency, creatrivity, resilience, self worth, identity……..and cultural syncretism.  And our cast of characters will include settlers as well as Indians…. 

A traditional Navajo felicitation:  "Walk in beauty"

’SUGGESTED Reading:  David Treuer.    THE HEARTBEAT OF WOUNDED KNEE.  NATIVE AMERICA FROM `1890 TO THE PRESENT.($5-$12), and a few articles to be distributed.

Your instructor

Steven Piker is an anthropologistr with field work in Thailand and the U.S. His main interests include religion, American Indians, and human evolution. He taught  for 44 years at Swarthmore College and has presented many popular courses  four of Maine’s senior colleges.

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