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Joseph_F
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎03-05-2009

What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

[ Edited ]

Hi there, person reading these words. This message board does not belong to me, it belongs to you. So tell us, what kind of books would you like to discuss? Books on spirituality? Religious history? Excerpts from religious texts (Bible, etc.)?

 

I understand that many of you are likely to be Christian, and so I expect that Christian books will likely take up a good amount of the discussion on this board. But I certainly hope that everyone will be open to also discussing books about and maybe even books intended for other religions. Reading should introduce us to new ideas and ways of thinking. 

 

Or at least that's what I think. What do you think? 

 

 

Message Edited by Joseph_F on 03-24-2009 08:44 AM
Message Edited by Joseph_F on 03-24-2009 08:45 AM
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Redcatlady
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

Rumi, perhaps?

 

Redcatlady 

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Paul_Hochman
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

The Jesus Dynasty by James Tabor is a fascinating read and stands right beside Schweitzer's Quest for the Historical Jesus.
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Joseph_F
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?


Redcatlady wrote:

Rumi, perhaps?

 

Redcatlady 


Rumi is indeed, even divorced from religious context, a very entertaining poet to read. I personally don't know enough about him to be of much help in even picking a text of his to read, but if you think you are capable, feel free to give people an introduction to some of his works.

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Raven_Lunatic
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

Can we discuss religious-themed fiction, too?

 

 

_______________
"Fear not, for our army is strong and courageous."
"Just hope they don't sober up before we get there".
-Bored of the Rings
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Joseph_F
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?


Raven_Lunatic wrote:

Can we discuss religious-themed fiction, too?

 

 


Absolutely :smileyhappy:

 

Anything religion or spirituality related is fair game, as far as I'm concerned.

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Dreamer4ever
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?


Joseph_F wrote:

Raven_Lunatic wrote:

Can we discuss religious-themed fiction, too?

 

 


Absolutely :smileyhappy:

 

Anything religion or spirituality related is fair game, as far as I'm concerned.


 

 

 

 

That's the majority of the spritual reading I do. :smileywink:

 

But, seriously, I'd also like to discuss books that maybe are more of applying religion--in my case, Christianity--to everyday life. If that's what you meant?

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. --Mark Twain
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006

Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?


Joseph_F wrote:

Hi there, person reading these words. This message board does not belong to me, it belongs to you. So tell us, what kind of books would you like to discuss? Books on spirituality? Religious history? Excerpts from religious texts (Bible, etc.)?

 

I understand that many of you are likely to be Christian, and so I expect that Christian books will likely take up a good amount of the discussion on this board. But I certainly hope that everyone will be open to also discussing books about and maybe even books intended for other religions. Reading should introduce us to new ideas and ways of thinking. 

 

Or at least that's what I think. What do you think? 

 -----------------------------------

 

We could dedicate each month to a different spirituality or religion. It would keep the board from being dominated by just one religion and I think it would help us all grow in understanding and tolerance. You pick a belief system or topic for each month, Joseph, we can suggest some books in that area, and then center our discussions on that area.  We could alternate betwen one of the big five religions (or even a specific religion under the umbrella of the big five) and then pick a lessor-known religion or spirituality the next. It would keep it balanced. I think we could learn so much more this way instead of letting a few big ones dominate the discussions. Maybe we could even suggest a list for you to choose from.

 

Scribe
debbook
Posts: 1,823
Registered: ‎05-03-2008

Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

That's a good idea Nadine. Though I'm a little freaked because I think Ryan and I both gave you laurels at the same time. Spooky. Maybe this thread is haunted!

Nadine wrote:

We could dedicate each month to a different spirituality or religion. It would keep the board from being dominated by just one religion and I think it would help us all grow in understanding and tolerance. You pick a belief system or topic for each month, Joseph, we can suggest some books in that area, and then center our discussions on that area.  We could alternate betwen one of the big five religions (or even a specific religion under the umbrella of the big five) and then pick a lessor-known religion or spirituality the next. It would keep it balanced. I think we could learn so much more this way instead of letting a few big ones dominate the discussions. Maybe we could even suggest a list for you to choose from.

 


 

A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
"bookmagic418.blogspot.com
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Nelsmom
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

I'm with Nadine I would like to learn something about all of the worlds religions and how they work in the culture of the different countries.  But I would also like to see how it plays in the literature of the world.  I have strong belief in the religion I belong to but it also encourages us to learn about other religions so we can be more toleratent of those we meet who don't believe as we do.   Donita K. Paul is one author that writes Christian based fiction and she has a new series starting in June or July of this year.  Maybe we could read and discuss that book when it comes out.

 

Toni 

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
Distinguished Correspondent
Joseph_F
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎03-05-2009

Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?


Nadine wrote:

Joseph_F wrote:

Hi there, person reading these words. This message board does not belong to me, it belongs to you. So tell us, what kind of books would you like to discuss? Books on spirituality? Religious history? Excerpts from religious texts (Bible, etc.)?

 

I understand that many of you are likely to be Christian, and so I expect that Christian books will likely take up a good amount of the discussion on this board. But I certainly hope that everyone will be open to also discussing books about and maybe even books intended for other religions. Reading should introduce us to new ideas and ways of thinking. 

 

Or at least that's what I think. What do you think? 

 -----------------------------------

 

We could dedicate each month to a different spirituality or religion. It would keep the board from being dominated by just one religion and I think it would help us all grow in understanding and tolerance. You pick a belief system or topic for each month, Joseph, we can suggest some books in that area, and then center our discussions on that area.  We could alternate betwen one of the big five religions (or even a specific religion under the umbrella of the big five) and then pick a lessor-known religion or spirituality the next. It would keep it balanced. I think we could learn so much more this way instead of letting a few big ones dominate the discussions. Maybe we could even suggest a list for you to choose from.

 


This is certainly a good idea, although I am a bit leery of making the board too restrictive, especially early on.

 

Let's get discussion moving within each of our comfort zones before we start pushing people towards learning about religions they otherwise would never think about. However, this is an idea I will definitely keep in mind for a little later.

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L_Monty
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?


Nadine wrote:
We could dedicate each month to a different spirituality or religion. It would keep the board from being dominated by just one religion and I think it would help us all grow in understanding and tolerance.

Just to be totally equal, though, I think we should pick a month when all of us expect to be really busy, devote it to nihilism and just lock the forum so no one can post at all.










:smileyhappy:
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006

Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?


Joseph_F wrote:

Nadine wrote:

Joseph_F wrote:

Hi there, person reading these words. This message board does not belong to me, it belongs to you. So tell us, what kind of books would you like to discuss? Books on spirituality? Religious history? Excerpts from religious texts (Bible, etc.)?

 

I understand that many of you are likely to be Christian, and so I expect that Christian books will likely take up a good amount of the discussion on this board. But I certainly hope that everyone will be open to also discussing books about and maybe even books intended for other religions. Reading should introduce us to new ideas and ways of thinking. 

 

Or at least that's what I think. What do you think? 

 -----------------------------------

 

We could dedicate each month to a different spirituality or religion. It would keep the board from being dominated by just one religion and I think it would help us all grow in understanding and tolerance. You pick a belief system or topic for each month, Joseph, we can suggest some books in that area, and then center our discussions on that area.  We could alternate betwen one of the big five religions (or even a specific religion under the umbrella of the big five) and then pick a lessor-known religion or spirituality the next. It would keep it balanced. I think we could learn so much more this way instead of letting a few big ones dominate the discussions. Maybe we could even suggest a list for you to choose from.

 


This is certainly a good idea, although I am a bit leery of making the board too restrictive, especially early on.

 

Let's get discussion moving within each of our comfort zones before we start pushing people towards learning about religions they otherwise would never think about. However, this is an idea I will definitely keep in mind for a little later.


I'm not suggesting that we restrict the board, Joseph -- that will never happen! Anybody can suggest a topic or book that interests them and start up a conversation thread. Those that are interested in the thread will join in; those who are not won't. You will see that happening rather quickly without any urging. We will get plenty of those and loads of opinions especially if a subject is timely or controversial . You don't even have to ask for suggestions!

 

I thought maybe you might be looking for some sort of "focus" that would be announced before the month whereby a large number of the members might read something collectively and have a discussion on specific spirituality topic.

Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?


L_Monty wrote:

Nadine wrote:
We could dedicate each month to a different spirituality or religion. It would keep the board from being dominated by just one religion and I think it would help us all grow in understanding and tolerance.

Just to be totally equal, though, I think we should pick a month when all of us expect to be really busy, devote it to nihilism and just lock the forum so no one can post at all.

:smileyhappy:

 

:smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy:

 

Not a bad idea, Monty! I would enter such a discussion!

 

We could do it by a topic.  In fact we could have a focus topic per week and have a board similar to Ilana's Literature & Life. If done right it could be a great board.

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Everyman
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

There are several major categories of religious and spiritual writing that we could pick from.  A toitally noninclusive list with just a very few perhaps not totally unapt examples would include (in most cases I only know the major Christian writers, so apologize for leaving others out):

 

Core religious works -- for example Bhagavad Gita, I Ching, writings of Confucius,  Tahakh, Old Testament, New Testament, Koran.

 

Commentaries on the above.

 

Straight theology -- Aquinas, Calvin, Luther, Barclay, Kierkegaard, Tillich, and on and on. 

 

History of religion -- I'm not well versed here, the only major work I know at all well outside of the history of Quakerism is the Barbarian Conversion. 

 

Religious autobiography and biography -- Augustine's Confessions, Journal of George Fox, Ghandi's Autobiography, C.S. Lewis Surprised by Joy

 

Devotional -- An Imitation of Christ, Meditations of Cardinal Newman

 

Sermons -- Some of John Donne's sermons are extraordinary reading.

 

Religious poetry -- Donne again, Blake, Bloom's American Religious Poets (which encompasses poetry from  many faiths, including Native American)

 

Religioius fiction -- Dickens' Christmas Carol, Siddartha, and on and on

 

These are just some of the genres we would have the opportunity to choose from.  Whew!

 

 

 

 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Everyman
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

The First Look book club is going to be discussing shortly a book which involves, I'm not sure to what degree, the Salem Witch Trials.  Is there any way to attempt some sort of crossover discussion?  I believe there are still free copies of the book available if people sign up soon (at least I haven't seen them close the request list). 
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Joseph_F
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?


Nadine wrote:

I'm not suggesting that we restrict the board, Joseph -- that will never happen! Anybody can suggest a topic or book that interests them and start up a conversation thread. Those that are interested in the thread will join in; those who are not won't. You will see that happening rather quickly without any urging. We will get plenty of those and loads of opinions especially if a subject is timely or controversial . You don't even have to ask for suggestions!

 

I thought maybe you might be looking for some sort of "focus" that would be announced before the month whereby a large number of the members might read something collectively and have a discussion on specific spirituality topic.


I believe we definitely plan to do things like that although there aren't any details worked out on it yet. I'm very excited to see so many people willing to learn about a variety of religions though. I hope you guys will stick around as we go forward. 

Melissa_W
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

Being rather a late hour, and being too lazy to want to think of an independent example, I agree very much with Everyman's list!  It has quite a few things I've been thinking of reading at some point in my lifetime.


Everyman wrote:

There are several major categories of religious and spiritual writing that we could pick from.  A toitally noninclusive list with just a very few perhaps not totally unapt examples would include (in most cases I only know the major Christian writers, so apologize for leaving others out):

 

Core religious works -- for example Bhagavad Gita, I Ching, writings of Confucius,  Tahakh, Old Testament, New Testament, Koran.

 

Commentaries on the above.

 

Straight theology -- Aquinas, Calvin, Luther, Barclay, Kierkegaard, Tillich, and on and on. 

 

History of religion -- I'm not well versed here, the only major work I know at all well outside of the history of Quakerism is the Barbarian Conversion. 

 

Religious autobiography and biography -- Augustine's Confessions, Journal of George Fox, Ghandi's Autobiography, C.S. Lewis Surprised by Joy

 

Devotional -- An Imitation of Christ, Meditations of Cardinal Newman

 

Sermons -- Some of John Donne's sermons are extraordinary reading.

 

Religious poetry -- Donne again, Blake, Bloom's American Religious Poets (which encompasses poetry from  many faiths, including Native American)

 

Religioius fiction -- Dickens' Christmas Carol, Siddartha, and on and on

 

These are just some of the genres we would have the opportunity to choose from.  Whew!

 

 

 

 


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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Choisya
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

I would like to recommend Karen Armstrong's History of God which, among other things, gives a useful resume of the three major monotheistic religions and so could provide a jumping off point for a discussion on religion overall.  Here is an interview with her, where she talks about her religious beliefs since leaving a convent. And a short video interview on 'divine impulses'. 
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Nadine
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Re: What kinds of books would you like to discuss?

[ Edited ]

Choisya wrote:
I would like to recommend Karen Armstrong's History of God which, among other things, gives a useful resume of the three major monotheistic religions and so could provide a jumping off point for a discussion on religion overall.  Here is an interview with her, where she talks about her religious beliefs since leaving a convent. And a short video interview on 'divine impulses'. 

 

I would second that. I have not read the book but it is on my "to be read list". The book looks like a good grounding in the development of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and and their development.

 

I would give you a "voting Laurel," Choisya, but I know you do not like them.

 

Here is a Synopsis of the book.

 

Synopsis

As soon as they became recognizably human, men and women - in their hunger to understand their own presence on earth and the mysteries within and around them - began to worship gods. Karen Armstrong's masterly and illuminating book explores the ways in which the idea and experience of God evolved among the monotheists - Jews, Christians and Muslims. Weaving a multicolored fabric of historical, philosophical, intellectual and social developments and insights, Armstrong shows how, at various times through the centuries, each of the monotheistic religions has held a subtly different concept of God. At the same time she draws our attention to the basic and profound similarities among them, making it clear that in all of them God has been and is experienced intensely, passionately and often - especially in the West - traumatically. Some monotheists have seen darkness, desolation and terror, where others have seen light and transfiguration; the reasons for these inherent differences are examined, and the people behind them are brought to life. We look first at the gradual move away from the pagan gods to the full-fledged monotheism of the Jews during the exile in Babylon. Next considered is the development of parallel, yet different, perceptions and beliefs among Christians and Muslims. The book then moves "generationally" through time to examine the God of the philosophers and mystics in all three traditions, the God of the Reformation, the God of the Enlightenment and finally the nineteenth- and twentieth-century challenges of skeptics and atheists, as well as the fiercely reductive faith of the fundamentalists of our own day. Armstrong suggests that any particular idea of God must - if it is to survive - work for the people who develop it, and that ideas of God change when they cease to be effective. She argues that the concept of a personal God who behaves like a larger version of ourselves was suited to mankind at a certain stage but no longer works for an incre

 

Publishers Weekly

 

This searching, profound comparative history of the three major monotheistic faiths fearlessly illuminates the sociopolitical ground in which religious ideas take root, blossom and mutate. Armstrong, a British broadcaster, commentator on religious affairs and former Roman Catholic nun, argues that Judaism, Christianity and Islam each developed the idea of a personal God, which has helped believers to mature as full human beings. Yet Armstrong also acknowledges that the idea of a personal God can be dangerous, encouraging us to judge, condemn and marginalize others. Recognizing this, each of the three monotheisms, in their different ways, developed a mystical tradition grounded in a realization that our human idea of God is merely a symbol of an ineffable reality. To Armstrong, modern, aggressively righteous fundamentalists of all three faiths represent ``a retreat from God.'' She views as inevitable a move away from the idea of a personal God who behaves like a larger version of ourselves, and welcomes the grouping of believers toward a notion of God that ``works for us in the empirical age.''

 

 

Message Edited by Nadine on 03-25-2009 10:27 AM