FAU Lifelong Learning Society, Jupiter
Thomas G. O'Brien and Howard Shapiro

Religious Studies

Thomas G. O’Brien received his B.A. magna cum laude in 1964 from Notre Dame and graduated from Yale Law School in 1967. He practiced corporate law for more than 30 years, retired in 2001, and received an M.A. in theology summa cum laude in 2003 from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. Tom is a Canon in the Episcopal Church and the Examining Chaplain for Holy Scripture for the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, has taught courses for LLS, taught scripture and theology courses at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, and led interfaith dialogues for the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews for many years.

Rabbi Howard Shapiro was educated at Brandeis University and ordained by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. He came to Temple Israel, West Palm Beach, in 1981 after serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and as a rabbi in Springfield, N.J. He serves on the Reform Pension Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union for Reform Judaism. In 1993, Rabbi Shapiro was awarded tenure at Temple Israel and granted the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR. He is the Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel, and his spiritual guidance, intellectual stimulation, creative programming and full participation in all aspects of Jewish life reflect his love and dedication to Judaism and the Jewish people.

Tom and Howard also led highly successful Interfaith Trips to Israel (2010), Central Europe (2011) and Russia (2013).

The Clash of the Gods
Six Religions Examined

In prior courses, Rabbi Shapiro and Tom O'Brien examined the real — and sometimes irreconcilable — differences between Judaism and Christianity and the religious challenges of the 21st century. This year, Tom and Howard will expand their dialogues to ask how six of the world’s religions respond to “The Big Questions.” In weeks two through seven, a representative of each religion will join them for the discussion.

Eight Lectures
  1. The Big Questions: What are they?
  2. Judaism
  3. Christianity
  4. Islam
  5. Hinduism
  6. Buddhism
  7. Yoruba
  8. The Big Questions: What have we learned?
Class Files (PDF)
Course # W8R1 — Eight Weeks
  Place:Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
  Dates:Thursdays — January 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5
  Time:9–10:45 a.m.
  Fee:$68/member; $98/non-member