After successful summer book discussion group when we read Gerd Theissen's The Shadow of the Galilean I am now thinking about opening a new book discussion group.
All of the books are either short or easy to read or they share both of these characteristics.
The books are not selected because I swear by them, but as a trigger for our discussions.
Most of these books I have already "tested" in a small group/seminar setting and they generated interesting discussions. If you like to join us and/or have preference let me know - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Cost of discipleship - very interesting and important theological and political text. Can be accompanied with several films/documentaries on D.Bonhoeffer. Can be accompanied with discussion of the Barmen Declaration - part of the Presbyterian Book of Confessions, can be accompanied with selected Letters from Prison - an exposition of further radicalisation and deepening of Bonhoeffer’s theology.
Martin Buber: I and Though - we can have interesting discussion about Jewish hermeneutics and linguistic philosophy. Tangentially this can be accompanied with discussion of his interest in Chasidism and about our modern idealisation of exclusivisitic or esoteric movements. Even further tangentially as one of the very early Sionist Buber can offer very interesting insights in Near Eastern situation.
John Caputo: What would Jesus Deconstruct? - discussion about Social Gospel, Evangelism and evangelicalism, postmodern philosophy (please don't confuse with religious postmodernism which is just a religious mush) and Derrida etc.I only recently discovered this Syracuse professor of philosophy, very engaging thinker, can help us provide some clarity to thinking about our faith.
Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene (can be accompanied with a PBS film on evolution) discussions about faith and science. Might be interesting to discuss an early book of an author who later became vociferous critic of religion. Possible discussion about the difference between faith and religion.
Carl Gustav Jung: Terry Lectures (Psychology and Religion) or Analytical Psychology : Its Theory and Practice (The Tavistock Lectures) - Opportunity to discuss Jungian psychoanalysis, import of Jungian psychology for the study of religion, Jungian interest in Gnosticism.
John Shelby Spong: The Sins of the Scripture - episcopalian bishop and biblicist grappling with biblical fundamentalism, can be accompanied with some films - Selling God or an episode from Red Dwarf (on religion and fundamentalism)
Slavoj Žižek: The Fragile Absolute (Or Why is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting for?) - an international celebrity Marxist philosopher and psychoanalyst originally from Post-Yugoslav Slovenia. Very challenging an amusing writer, in this book defends Christianity and attempts reconciliation between Marxism and Christianity.