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Events and Learning Cohorts

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Forming a Social Self — Learning Cohort (FULL)

Wed 02.02.22 @ 8:00 AM - 9:20 AM CST

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In the West, the modern self is often thought to be atomistic, that is self-made, self-actualized and, ideally, self-reliant. To say the least, this view is highly problematic. If fact, our being in the world is powerfully shaped in relationship: our social context forms us even as we form it. In this learning cohort we will consider four texts from four distinct perspectives that speak directly to the ways in which we are socially formed—

I and Thou (1923) by Martin Buber (1878-1965), an Austrian Jewish philosopher 

Life Together (1939) by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), a German Lutheran pastor and theologian 

Gravity and Grace (1947) by Simone Weil (1909-1943), a French philosopher and social activist 

Self and Salvation: Being Transformed (1999) by David Ford (1948-), an Anglican public theologian 

Who the Cohort is for 

This cohort is for students, faculty, ministry leaders, and community members who love to read and who want to explore how the works of key thinkers in the past can speak to us in the present. The only prerequisites are a curious mind, a commitment to read, and a desire to discuss. 

Frequency and Duration 

This cohort will meet seven times on Wednesdays. We will usually spend two sessions on each book, first in-person at Upper House and second via Zoom, during which we will be joined by a guest who has been significantly shaped by each of these texts. 

Feb 2, 8-9:30 AM — Martin Buber, I and Thou (at Upper House) 

Feb 9, 8-9 AM — Guest discussion  (on Zoom) 

Mar 2, 8-9:30 AM — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (at Upper House) 

Mar 9, 8-9 AM — Guest discussion (on  Zoom)  

April 6, 8-9:30 AM — Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (at Upper House) 

April 13, 8-9 AM — Guest discussion (on Zoom) 

May 4, 8-9:30 AM — David Ford, Self and Salvation: Being Transformed (at Upper House) 

Cohort Capacity 

15 participants. Registration will close when full. 

Cohort Leader  

Cameron Anderson serves as the Associate Director of Upper House. An artist, he received his M.F.A. in painting and drawing from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Cam is also author of The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts  (IVP Academic, 2016) and God in the Gallery: Viewing Art with Eyes of Faith  (IVP Academic, 2021), the latter co-edited with G. Walter Hansen. He and his wife, C.K., have lived in Madison, Wisconsin since 1986. Prior to joining the Upper House team, Cam served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for 30 years, and Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA), for 10 years. He can be reached at 

Resources Required 

Participants will need to purchase the following editions: 

Martin Buber, I and Thou, trans. Walter Kaufman (Touchstone, 1970) 

Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (Rutledge, 2002) 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (HarperOne, 2009) 

David F. Ford, Self and Salvation: Being Transformed (Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine, Series Number 1, 1999) 



Wed 02.02.22
8:00 AM - 9:20 AM CST
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