Chapel of the good shepherd wednesday Evening Book Group a k. a. Science and Theology Dialogue a k. a. Adult Non-Sunday School

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Wednesday Evening Book Group

a.k.a. Science and Theology Dialogue

a.k.a. Adult Non-Sunday School

List of Book and Film Titles
This history of our reading is a work in progress. Our group has had a variety of incarnations over the years. The earliest that I recall in my time here was a small group that met at the Coffee Roaster (one of a series of failed restaurants in the “cursed” former gas station at the corner of Salisbury and Robinson); we used to meet at 8:30 a.m. and then hightail it back to 545 Hayes for the 10:00 service. I’m not even sure of the dates (2001? 2002?). Peter led the group in those days.
As time passed, I somehow inherited leadership of the group, and the group shifted its meeting times—hence our erstwhile name of “Adult Non-Sunday School.” So far, by going through old bulletins and e-bulletins and by staring at the shelves in our library, I’ve been able to ascertain records as far back as 2006. I know there are other books that we’ve definitely (or probably) read, but I can’t place dates for them yet; I’ll list those first. As they say in academia, further research is called for.
Mark Thomas
Books for which I don’t have a specific date yet—but which I’m sure we’ve read!
Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History (I think we read this one.)
Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith
Shusako Endo, Silence (trans. William Johnston)
Bruce Feiler, Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ

Jean-Yves Leloup, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

Norman Mailer, The Gospel According to the Son
Armand M. Nicholi, Jr., The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life (I’m pretty sure we read this.)
Elaine Pagels, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (We read at least one other Elaine Pagels book at some point, but I’m drawing a blank as to which one. It could have been The Gnostic Gospels, or The Origin of Satan, or Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. Why wasn’t I writing these titles down as we went along?)
Richard E. Rubenstein, When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome
Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith
Jim Wallis, God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It
Spring 2006
February 14 (Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.): J. Philip Newell, Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality
March 7 (Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.): Esther de Waal, Living with Contradiction: An Introduction to Benedictine Spirituality
April 18 (Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.): Thomas Keating, Manifesting God
Summer 2006
June 20, July 25 (Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.): Michelle Goldberg, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism
Fall 2006

Adult Non-Sunday School” morphs into “Science & Religion Dialogue” at about this point . . . (This was when we had a tentative connection with the Metanexus Foundation via Professor Thomas Ryba at St. Tom’s. Also, the establishment of our Meditation Group on Tuesdays necessitated a time change.)

September 28 (Thursday, 7:00 p.m.): Barbara Brown Taylor, The Luminous Web: Essays on Science and Religion
October 29, November 5 and 12 (Sunday, 11:30 a.m.): The Dalai Lama, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
November 19 (Sunday, 11:30 a.m.): Ursula Goodenough, The Sacred Depths of Nature
Spring 2007 (beginning of new schedule: second and fourth Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m.)
January 10 and 24: Ursula Goodenough, The Sacred Depths of Nature (continued from fall 2006)
February 14 and 28: Richard Powers, The Echo Maker

March 14 and 28: Francis Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

April 11 and 25: Carl Sagan (ed. Ann Druyan), The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
Summer 2007
June 13: Karen Armstrong, A Short History of Myth
June 27: A Catechism of Creation, published by the Episcopal Church’s Committee on Science, Technology, and Faith; available at
July 11: Film, Wings of Desire (dir. Wim Wenders, 1987)
July 25: Film, Inherit the Wind (dir. Stanley Kramer, 1960)

Fall 2007

September 12 and 26: Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
October 10: Alister McGrath and Joanna Collicutt McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine
October 24, November 28: Kenneth Miller, Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between Science and Evolution (There are notes in the weekly e-bulletins indicating that the discussion of Miller carried over into January 2008. There also seem to have been plans to read and discuss E. O. Wilson’s The Creation, but I don’t think that ever happened.)
Spring 2008
January 23: Kenneth Miller, Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between Science and Evolution (continued from fall 2007)
February 13 and 27: Adam Nicolson, God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible (Announcements for this book note that the group wanted to “branch out” from “science and religion” titles.)
March 26, April 9, May 14: Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse

Summer 2008
June 11 and 25: Sara Miles, Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion
Fall 2008
Science & Religion Dialogue” morphs into “Wednesday Evening Book Group” right about here . . .

September 10 and 24: Gene Robinson, In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God

October 22: Film, For the Bible Tells Me So (dir. Daniel Karslake, 2007) (in conjunction with OUToberfest 2008; originally scheduled for October 8)
November 12: Garry Wills, What Paul Meant
Spring 2009
January 14: Garry Wills, What Paul Meant (continued from fall 2008)
February 11 and 25: Richard A. Burridge, Faith Odyssey: A Journey through Life (There was a delay in getting copies of this book because it was out of print.)
March 25, April 22: Phyllis Tickle: The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why
Summer 2009
June 10: C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
June 24: Anne Rice, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
July 8 and 22: Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
Fall 2009
September 9: Christopher Moore, Lamb (continued from summer 2009)
September 23: C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
October 7, November 11: Susan Howatch, Glittering Images
December 2: Film, Shadowlands (dir. Norman Stone, 1985 BBC version)

Spring 2010

January 13 and 27: John Shelby Spong, Why Christianity Must Change or Die
February 10 and 24: James Griffiss, The Anglican Vision
March 10 and 24: David J. Wolpe, Why Faith Matters
April 14 and 28: Chris Yaw, Jesus Was an Episcopalian (and You Can Be One Too!)
Summer 2010
June 9 and 23, July 28: Diana Butler Bass, A People’s History of Christianity
Fall 2010
September 8, October 13: James P. Carse, The Religious Case Against Belief
October 27 and November 10: Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
December 8: Film, Far Away, So Close! (dir. Wim Wenders, 1993)
Spring 2011
January 12 and 26: Martin Buber, I and Thou (trans. Walter Kauffman)
February 9 and 23: Nicholas Wade, The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures
March 9 and 23: Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History
April 13 and 27: Voltaire, Candide: or, Optimism (trans. Theo Cuffe)

Fall 2011 (We discontinued meeting in the summer at this point.)

September 14 and 28: Rob Bell, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
October 12 and 26, November 9: Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be
December 14: Film, Defending Your Life (dir. Albert Brooks, 1991)
Spring 2012
January 11 and 25: Forrest Church, So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State
February 8 and March 7: Nancey Murphy and Warren S. Brown, Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will
March 28: Special event at St. John’s Episcopal Church: Charles Dickens Bicentenary Book Discussion (including “light desserts in the Victorian style”)
April 11 and 25: Christian Smith, The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture
Fall 2012
September 12 and 16: Gustavo Gutierrez, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation (trans. Caridad Inda and John Eagleson)
October 10 and 24: Terry Eagleton, Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate
November 14 and 28: Lauren Winner, Girl Meets God: A Memoir

December 12: Film, Joyeux Noel (dir. Christian Carlon, 2005)

Spring 2013
January 23: Bryan Berghoef, Pub Theology: Beer, Conversation, and God
February 27: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (trans. John W. Doberstein)
The group went on hiatus in March 2013 because of Purdue’s spring break and Holy Week.
April 10 and 24: Joan Chittister, Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir
Fall 2013
September 11 and 25: Phyllis Theroux, The Good Bishop: The Life of Walter F. Sullivan (Peter led the September discussions; Bishop Sullivan was the bishop who ordained Peter as a Roman Catholic priest.)
October 9 and 23: Gene Robinson, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage (The October discussions were in conjunction with Bishop Robinson’s visit to Good Shepherd and Purdue on October 27-28.)
A follow-up discussion on Bishop Robinson’s visit was originally scheduled for November 13, and then for December 11, but had to be rescheduled for January 22, 2014.
Spring 2014
January 22: Follow-up discussion of Bishop Robinson’s visit
February 12 and March 12: Donald Kraybill, Steven Nolt, and David Weaver-Zercher, Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy (A discussion scheduled for February 26 was cancelled because of bad weather.)

March 26 and April 23: John Dear, Living Peace: A Spirituality of Contemplation and Action

Fall 2014
September 10 and 24, October 8: S. Brent Plate, A History of Religion in 5½ Objects: Bringing the Spiritual to Its Senses
October 22 and November 12: Elaine Pagels, Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation
December 3: Film, The Princess Bride (dir. Rob Reiner, 1987)
Spring 2015 (beginning of new monthly schedule: second Wednesday of month)
January 14: C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold
February 11: Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
March 11: Marcus J. Borg, Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning—and How They Can Be Restored (Professor Borg passed away on January 21, 2015, and we chose the book in his memory; by coincidence, the discussion took place on what would have been his 73rd birthday.)
April 8: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Fall 2015
September 9: Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
October 14: Philip Gulley and James Mulholland, If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person
November 11: Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

December 3: Film, Chocolat (dir. Lasse Hallstrom, 2000)

Spring 2016
No meeting in January (scheduling conflict)
February 3: Sara Miles, City of God: Faith in the Streets (one week early because of Ash Wednesday on the 10th)
March 9: Colm Toibin, The Testament of Mary
April 13: Film, Spotlight (dir. Tom McCarthy, 2015)
Fall 2016
September 7: Flo Morse, The Story of the Shakers
October 12 and November 9: Robert P. Jones, The End of White Christian America
December 14: First three episodes of the BBC-TV series Rev. (2010)
Spring 2017
No meeting in January (scheduling conflict)

February 8: Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness

March 8: Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self
April 12: Film, Silence (dir. Martin Scorsese, 2016) (Note: Once upon a time, the group read and discussed Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence, upon which this film is based; but I have no clear record of when we did that.)

Fall 2017
September 6: Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

October 11: J. D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

November 8: Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
December 13: Film, The Way (dir. Emilio Estevez, 2010)
Spring 2018
January 10: “Millennials and Religion” – discussion of three online articles:
Alex McFarland, “Ten Reasons Millennials Are Backing Away from God and Christianity” Fox News, April 30, 2017
Libby Anne, “Why Are Millennials Leaving Christianity? Fox News Has No Idea”

Love, Joy, Feminism blog, Patheos, December 13, 2017
Rachel Held Evans, “Want Millennials Back in the Pews? Stop Trying to Make Church ‘Cool’” Washington Post, April 30, 2015
February 7 and March 7: Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
April 11: Film, Life Is Beautiful (dir. Roberto Benigni, 1997)
MCT 4/23/18

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