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The Sacred Book Club

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The Sacred Book Club


"Words long to be sentences. Sentences long to be books. And books long to be shared."

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are, in the words of the Qur'an, "People of the Book." Many Muslims take that phrase to include Zoroastrians, Hindus and others as well. There is a sea of sacred writings, and very little of it has been (to follow the metaphor) sailed by any but the locals. In other words, when was the last time you read someone else's books?

Of course, we could ask, "When was the last time you read your OWN books?" But here is an even better one: "When was the last time you listened to someone else read your book?"

What is it like to look at our own story through the eyes of someone we thought was an outsider? To be Christian and hear the Sermon on the Mount from a Muslim, or to be Muslim and hear the bismillah from a Buddhist?

This is the Sacred Book Club. Three times we gather for an hour to read – and listen. At each event we will consider a readings from a different tradition, without demanding that they be understood our way, only that they be shared with respect all around.

This event is open to anyone on campus who has an interest in breaking free of our religious boundaries. For those in my World Religions classes, each meeting is also worth 30 points toward the Choices assignment.

Firstup for the Spring, we will read the story of Ruth and Boaz. This may be a whole lot racier than you would expect in a Bible story, but then again you may be surprised to know that the Bible story we are going to read is never read in Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian or Presbyterian worship services.

Spring 2013 Schedule

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 from 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 from 10:45-11:45 a.m.