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Posts tagged ‘reading groups’

2014 Book Group

surpassing wonder book coverCCUCC BOOK GROUP—Our next book for reading/discussion is “Surpassing Wonder:  The Invention of the Bible and The Talmuds”by Donald Harman Akenson.  Everyone is invited to join in this study of one scholar’s understanding of how the scriptures of Christians and Jews came to be.  We’ll begin on Tuesday, January 7th at 6:15pm at CCUCC.

 “Calling the Bible and Talmud ”inventions” may sound like fighting words to a religiously sensitive audience, but here the word ”invention” is a belief-neutral description of the processes that created the Jewish and Christian foundational classics (the Hebrew Bible, the Jewish literature of the Second Temple period, the New Testament, the Mishna and the Talmuds). In ”Surpassing Wonder,” Donald Harman Akenson, a professor of Irish history, adopts a Great Books approach to Jewish and Christian history, viewing it not as ”a chronicle of events, but a chronicle of successive texts, their constant invention and reinvention.” With an imaginative use of metaphors, analogies, persuasive rhetoric and praise, he pleads with all to read these religious classics seriously, whether they grant them spiritual authority or not, because, precisely as splendid intellectual and spiritual ”inventions,” they have fascinated readers for generations and profoundly shaped Western civilization.”  –Anthony J. Saldarini, from The New York Times review of Surpassing Wonder, Dec. 13, 1998.

If you are interested, please sign up using the form below, or at church.

We’ll begin on Tuesday, January 7, 2013.

Books are $20.00 each.

Book Group


BOOK GROUP—Our next book for reading/discussion is “Justice:  What’s the Right Thing to Do?” by noted Harvard professor Michael J. Sandel.  Everyone is invited to join in.  We’ll begin this week by watching some video of Sandel’s class of the same name.

“Reading ‘Justice’ by Michael Sandel is an intoxicating invitation to take apart and examine how we arrive at our notions of right and wrong….This is enlivening stuff. Sandel is not looking to win an argument; he’s looking at how a citizen might best engage the public realm.”— Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Here is a brief Video Introduction to his class/book.

If you are interested, please sign up using the form below, or at church, or just show up!

We’ll begin on Tuesday, October 22 and end on December 17.

Books are $12.00 each.

Summer Book Group

This summer we all have the opportunity to discuss, argue with, and ultimately learn from a wise spiritual teacher in Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward:  A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. Of course, we’ll have the chance to listen to and learn from one another as well.  The following is a portion of The Invitation to a Further Journey section:

  “A journey into the second half of our own lives awaits us all. Not everybody goes there, even though all of us get older, and some of us get older than others. A “further journey” is a well-kept secret, for some reason. Many people do not even know there is one. There are too few who are aware of it, tell us about it, or know that it is different from the journey of the first half of life. So why should I try to light up the path a little? Why should I presume that I have anything to say here? And why should I write to people who are still on their first journey, and happily so? I am driven to write because after forty years as a Franciscan teacher, working in many settings, religions, countries, and institutions, I find that many, if not most, people and institutions remain stymied in the preoccupations of the first half of life. By that I mean that most people’s concerns remain those of establishing their personal (or superior) identity, creating various boundary markers for themselves, seeking security, and perhaps linking to what seem like significant people or projects. These tasks are good to some degree and even necessary. We are all trying to find what the Greek philosopher Archimedes called a “lever and a place to stand” so that we can move the world just a little bit. The world would be much worse off if we did not do this first and important task.

But, in my opinion, this first-half-of-life task is no more than finding the starting gate. It is merely the warm-up act, not the full journey. It is the raft but not the shore.”

If you are interested, please sign up using the form below, or at church.

I’ve ordered 10 books that will be here and available by Sunday, June 16, 2013.  We’ll begin on Tuesday, June 25.