Sep 09 Raymer Maguire: Book Review

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve” by Professor Stephen Greenblatt Part 1

Review by Peter Conrad of The Guardian 3 Sep 2017 

Greenblatt – a professor of humanities at Harvard, academically celebrated as the biographer of Shakespeare and the founder of the new defunct fashion in literary criticism known as the new historicism – here picks apart the most invidious and onerous of myths. Genesis devised a story that told us where we are, why we are here, and established rules for our conduct. Human history in the Christian west has been a long battle to come to terms with that tale, whose inflictions include a drastic ban on acquiring knowledge and a baleful sexual morality, with the pain of childbirth and inevitable death imposed by God as penalties for disobedience. Greenblatt follows Adam and Eve out of the garden and shows how they were loaded with an extra burden of guilt by St Augustine, who invented the vile notion of original sin to make us all take the blame for an impromptu erection that embarrassed him in the public baths. Greenblatt welcomes the redemption of Adam and Eve by Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo or Dürer, who saw them as ideal physical specimens, not the harassed victims of a repressive God. Finally, a little relieved, he has Darwin kill them off.

Aug 26 Raymer Maguire: Book Review: “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” by Jordan Peterson

Humorous, surprising and informative, Canadian clinical psychologist and psychology professor, Dr. Jordan Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.
     What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world’s wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers. Also an introduction to  Dr. Stephen Greenblatt’sThe Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve.”

Aug 12 Raymer F. Maguire, IV – Florida Amendment 4

Raymer will discuss Florida Amendment 4, the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, which is on the ballot in Florida as an initiated constitutional amendmenton November 6, 2018. He will examine Florida’s 150-year voting disenfranchisement history, and bring a felon’s testimony as to what it means on a personal level, to have lost the right to vote.

Raymer Maguire, IV, is the manager of ACLU of Florida’s Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform. Raymer obtained a degree in Economics and Finance from Bentley University. Prior to entering Florida’s political landscape in 2013, he founded and managed three successful, small businesses from 2006 to 2013. He worked for Florida’s two medical marijuana ballot initiative campaigns from 2013 to 2016, serving as the Deputy State Director during the 2014 campaign and Deputy Campaign Manager during the 2016 campaign. Raymer hopes to bring real and lasting change to Florida’s criminal justice system by focusing on compassionate, common sense-based changes to the current system.

Aug 05 Kathleen McLaurin – A Presentation on “Quakers, the Religious Society of Friends”

Members of the various Quaker movements are all generally united in a belief in the ability of each human being to experientially access “the light within”, or “that of God in everyone”. TheQuakers(or Religious Society of Friends) is a Christian movement which professes the priesthood of all believers, a doctrine it derives from 1 Peter 2:9. They include those with evangelical, holiness, liberal, and conservative understandings of Christianity. The Religious Society of Friends avoids creeds and hierarchical structures.

Jul 29 Belvin Perry, Jr.    

Belvin Perry, Jr. was raised to value public service, his mother, Jessie M. Perry, worked as a public-school teacher and his father, Belvin Perry, Sr. served in law enforcement as one of the first two African-American police officers to be hired by the Orlando Police Department.

After graduating from Jones High School, he attended Tuskegee University receiving a Bachelor of Science in History in 1972 and a Master of Education in Student Personnel Services in 1974. He studied law at Thurgood Marshall School of Law where he received his Juris Doctor in 1977. He began his legal career with the Office of the State Attorney serving as a Trial Attorney in 1977. 

He quickly rose through the ranks with the State Attorney’s Office, concluding his service with the prosecutor’s office as Chief Assistant State Attorney in 1989. In January of that same year, he became the first African-American to be elected to the circuit bench of the Ninth Circuit without first being appointed. While serving as a judge for nearly 25 years he has served as Administrative Judge in Osceola County and served nine terms as Chief Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit.

In 2014, Perry retired from the bench and joined the Orlando law firm of Morgan & Morgan as a personal-injury attorney.

Judge Perry has received numerous awards and honors and holds memberships in many organizations.  For more information;

Jul 22 Vasudha Narayanan, Distinguished Professor, Department of Religion, University of Florida

Vasudha Narayanan is a past President of The American Academy of Religion (2001-2002). She was educated at the Universities of Madras and Bombay in India, and at Harvard University. Her fields of interest are the Hindu traditions in India, Cambodia, and America; visual and expressive cultures in the study of the Hindu traditions; and gender issues. She is currently working on Hindu temples and traditions in Cambodia. She is the author or editor of seven books and numerous articles, chapters in books, and encyclopedia entries and the associate editor of Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Dr. Narayanan was named University of Florida’s Teacher Scholar of the Yearin 2010.