Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Online Catholic Book Club

On twitter the other day, the idea arose of an online Catholic Reading Circle. In the first instance, we are proposing to read Sacrosanctum Concilium.

 I promised I'd post some ideas for discussion on how this might work in practice, so here goes.

I suggest that we agree to read the agreed text by the weekend, at which time I will post some questions for discussion.

 Discussion will take place in the comms box.

To make that work, I suggest that we refer to the questions and the paragraphs of SC by paragraph number, and that we also number the paragraphs in our responses, so that we can easily refer to each others' responses.

 I also suggest that we agree to discuss the document for a week or so; so that anyone away at the weekend can take part, and also so that there is time for reading, reflecting on, and responding to each others' contributions.

I also propose that this is a discussion for those supportive of, or genuinely interested in understanding, the Magisterium. It will be moderated (by me) and people whose past contributions on other blogs have been boring ( to me) or hostile to the Church need not bother posting. (You know who you are...)

 If this discussion is useful, I suggest we then discuss how it went, with suggestions for improvements, and then agree on another book or text we would like to discuss, and agree who can take a lead role (eg suggest the questions for discussion) as I don't want to do it all...

These are ideas for discussion: please improve my ideas in the Comms box.


Mark Lambert said...

Sounds great! I'm in, unless I'm in the heretical category, in which case I don't imagine this post exists (disappears in a Humesque puff of smoke)

Amanda said...

Sounds good!

Ttony said...

It sounds good.

Some thoughts:

can you make sure that the questions are sufficiently focused to keep us (well, me) from going off on our own hobby horses?

We might have to cross over to the other side (Wordp*ess) to enable threaded comments (wasn't USENET wonderful) if several discussions start.

Is it a Catholic Online Book Club? Are we prepared to be "judgmental" and exclude people?(Yes! Yes!) How do we judge "faithful to the Magisterium"? Or is it a Catholic Online Book Club for that Bunch of Us who Hang Around on Twitter instead of Doing Good Works? ;-)

It might be a good idea to set out from the start that the only "books" to be discussed are available online.

I'm happy for Ben to do all the work, choosing things to read, thinking up questions, moderating, excluding, taking abuse, etc, but, unaccountably, he seems less keen - how do we set something up to let a bunch of "people like us" lead. Anybody who has led #twitterangelus? ;-) (Twitch eye tonight)

(And if you like listening to stories and have a spare twenty minutes listen to this mp3 from Canada about a book club experience that goes wrong! Start at 17:45, or maybe listen to the first bit as well, which talks about other book clubs.)

Part-time Pilgrim said...

Not worried about being heretical because I am open to correction but the requirement to be interesting is a challenge. I am also a bit concerned about the pace of reading required but if I can't keep up so be it.

Ben Trovato said...


I think Wordpress a good idea, but haven't worked out how to do that from a Mac: if you fancy setting up a Wordpress site, that would be excellent.

I'm always prepared to be judgemental and exclude: particularly, some of the people who hang around James Preece's site and make the comments there so tiresome...

But I would like this to be a more collective thing, and for that reason as well thing a separate site for it would be helpful.

I am hesitant to prescribe and proscribe early in the process: I'd like it to be open to - and led by - anyone interested, except people I can't stand!

Patricius said...

As one who has dipped into Sacrosanctum Concilium on several occasions I shall be very interested to see what emerges. A really interesting first question: does it really say what people think it says?

Marc said...

I look forward to the weekend. (And am willing to assist the project, if I can, from the US Left Coast.)

Marc said...

I knew there was something else: you may know that there are available free forum hosting providers online (e.g. that allow threading.... (Myself, I don't use Blogger or Wordpress so I have no idea how complex or simple it is to arrange them suitably these days.)