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Adult Education Series

Adult Education Series

Courses are offered in art, music, history, and current events; all courses are taught by subject specialists. In order to ensure the highest quality presenters, the Library may collect a fee for each course, though some lecture series will be free.

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Upcoming Courses


Library of the Chathams is starting a new adult education series beginning in May on Major Religions of the World. Scholars of religion will be presenting talks touching on such matters as core beliefs and doctrines, the history, major figures, events, and sacred writings of each faith. The series will begin with introductions to Judaism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Islam and will continue in the fall with other religions including Hinduism and Christianity.


Part 1 – Friday, September 9 – Click here to register
Part 2 – Friday, September 16 –
Click here to register
Both lectures will take place from 10 to 11:30 am

This lecture series will be presented by Dr. Karen Pechilis, Chair of the History Department at Drew University and former Director of the Arts & Letters Program in Drew’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on world religions and global history. These two lectures will present the core tenets, beliefs, practices, and cultures of Hinduism. The first lecture on Friday, September 9 will start with a brief historical survey of the roots and evolution of Hinduism through its formative classical period, including an overview of the renowned Bhagavad Gita. The second lecture on Friday, September 16 will examine contemporary Hinduism, including an introduction to the impressive Hindu temples in the United States.

This lecture will be presented in person at the library. If you cannot attend, you may join by Zoom.


Part 1 – Friday, September 23 – Click here to register
Part 2 – Friday, October 7 –
Click here to register
Both lectures will take place from 10 to 11:30 am

Presented by Professor Richard M. Riss, these two lectures will begin with an overview of the history of Christianity and of the origins of major Christian groups and denominations beginning with early Christianity and concluding with the groups that are still in existence today, including Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Protestantism, Wesleyan and Pentecostal groups, and Coptic Christianity. We will conclude with an examination of some of the issues dividing Christians today, especially the political issues that divide most White Evangelicals from non-Evangelicals and Black Evangelicals.

About the presenter: Richard M. Riss is Professor of History & Biblical Studies at Pillar College in Newark, New Jersey. He is the author of several books and a contributor of articles in The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, The Encyclopedia of Hanoverian England, The Encyclopedia of Religious Revivals in America, and The Library of Christian Worship. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Rochester, a Master of Christian Studies degree from Regent College in Vancouver, an M.A. in Church History from Trinity Divinity School, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Drew University.

The lectures will be presented in person at the library. If you cannot attend in person, you can join by Zoom.

Recordings of Previous Courses in the Religions Series

Judaism – Click to view the recording of Part 2 (no recording of Part 1)

Confucianism – (not recorded)

Buddhism – Click here to view the recording

Islam – Click here to view the recording of Part 1 (no recording of Part 2)

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