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Fall 2016 Reading Group Covers

We’re hosting some exciting reading groups this fall, and we’d love to have you join us.

Our reading groups are open to everyone—students, faculty, and community members. Unless indicated otherwise, groups meet at the MacLaurinCSF Study Center.

If you’re interesting in participating, register via the Google form below.


Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians by Chris Armstrong
Fridays at 2:00 pm  | Sep 23, Oct 7, 21, Nov 4
Facilitator: Jenn Carnell

Has modern Christianity too quickly dismissed the Middle Ages as irrelevant for modern life? Are there values held by medieval Christians that would benefit the church today? We’ll explore these questions by considering how C.S. Lewis was shaped by medieval wisdom toward a more robust understanding of how the gospel speaks into the ordinary rhythms of everyday life.


Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Tuesdays at 7:30 pm  |  Sep 27, Oct 4, 11, 18
Facilitator: David McEachron

This book is perhaps one of the most influential texts in changing the way Americans view slavery. When published in the early 1850’s, Stowe’s provocative tale fueled the growing anti-slave movement in the United States. We’ll explore the original intent and impact of the book, its theological underpinnings, and its relevance to the ongoing conversations of race in the United States today.


The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance by Bethany Hanke Hoang & Kristen Deede Johnson
Saturdays at 10:00 am  |  Sep 17, Oct 1, Oct 29, Nov 12, Dec 3, Dec 10  |  Meets at Humble Cup
Facilitators: Andrea Meitler, Anna Hemze, and Rachel Jeffries

Consider a comprehensive biblical theology of justice, explore stories of injustice around the globe today, and discuss practical ways to join God’s work of setting things right in the world. The book’s authors root their passion for justice in persevering hope, fueled by knowing the God of rescue and restoration.

This group is hosted in partnership with the UMN chapter of the International Justice Mission.


Confident Pluralism by John Inazu
Tuesdays at 7:30 pm  |  Sep 20, Oct 4, 18, Nov 1, 15
Facilitator: Eric Watkins

How do we live with the deep differences that exist in American society in the 21st century? John Inazu argues that we can and must live together peaceably in spite of these deep and sometimes irresolvable differences over politics, religion, sexuality, and other important matters. We’ll consider his argument that it is often better to tolerate than to protest, better to project humility than defensiveness, and better to wait patiently for the fruits of persuasion than to force the consequences of coercion.


You Are What You Love by James K. A. Smith
Tuesdays at 7:30 pm  |  Sep 20, 27, Oct 4, 18, 25
Facilitators: Andy Bramsen and Andrew Garnett

Who and what we worship fundamentally shape our hearts. And while we desire to shape culture, we are not often aware of how culture shapes us. Smith argues that our hearts are being taught to love rival gods instead of the One for whom we were made in ways in might not even realize. We’ll explore the formative power of culture and the transformative possibilities of Christian practices


Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility by Edward Sri
Wednesdays at 7 pm  |  Sep 21, Oct 5, 19, Nov 2, 16, 30, Dec 14  |  Meets at St. Lawrence Catholic Church & Newman Center
Facilitator: Allison Kolodzinski

Open to graduate/professional students

In 1960 Pope John Paul II published an analysis of the true meaning of human love is life-transforming and practical, shedding light on real issues between men and women. Edward Sri unpacks the contents of this great work, making it accessible to every reader. We’ll explore the practical implications of John Paul II’s work as it relates to love, the meaning of friendship, marriage, pornography, and more – important topics in the face of ever blurring lines in human sexuality today. The bulk of the reading for this group will happen during our meetings.

This group is hosted in partnership with St. Lawrence Catholic Church & Newman Center.


Readers of First Things Group
2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm  |  Meets at Groundswell Coffee
Facilitator: David Hoffner

This is an ongoing group that meets monthly to discuss articles in the newest issue of First Things. Several of the articles from the current issue are available for free on the First Things website. If you’re not a First Things subscriber, feel free to stop by the MacLaurinCSF Study Center to read the latest issue in the comfort of our living room. (We’ll even make you a free coffee!)


Theology and Economics Group
Tuesdays at 7:00 pm  |  Sep 20, Oct 4, 18, Nov 1, 15, 28, Dec 13  |  Meets at Lori’s Coffee House
Facilitator: James Emmet

This is an ongoing group to explore the relationship between Christianity and economic theory and practice. If you’re interested in a diverse, free-wheeling discussion on this topic, please join us! The first book the group will read this fall is The Worldly Philosophers, a time-tested history of economic thought in the form of chapters summarizing the work of famous economists. It is unsurpassed as a concise depiction of economics as a morally charged, controversial field of study.