Simon & Schuster: American Grace book group discussion guide available

February 27, 2012
By tomsander



1. This is a good ice breaker to open the discussion of American Grace, keeping in mind that not everyone is comfortable talking about his/her religion. Take a piece of paper and list your 5 closest friends. Next to their names, jot down their religion. Are there any surprises? Do you know everyone’s religion? Are they all your religion—and if so, did you already know this? Are you surprised by this?

2. How important is it to you to worship in a congregation? In other words, can you imagine belonging to the same religion but just worshipping at home? If you are someone who is spiritual but does not belong to a congregation, can you talk about what this is like?

3. In the Ethnicity, Gender, and Religion vignette, how do you feel about Pastor White’s stance on gender as a fundamental keystone for modern religion? Even if you would not join a congregation in which women have a second-class role, can you understand how it could be attractive or comfortable to some women?

4. Discuss the ways in which politics and religion overlap as presented in Chapter 10. Consider Pastor Hammond of LWCC, Beth Emet synagogue, and the Mormon congregation in Utah. How do your own politics align with your faith? Do you feel that your religion has influenced your politics, or have your political views influenced your religious choices?

5. Do you think it is good for the country when faith and partisan politics are closely aligned? Refer to Figure 11.2 and the increasing correlation between Republican identification and religious attendance in the last decade in considering your answer.

6. If you belong to a religious congregation, is there anything in any of the vignettes that you would like to see in your own congregation? For example, more emphasis on small groups, greater focus on community activism, or a different style of worship service?

Read the whole reading group discussion guide here.

Get copy of paperback of American Grace here (2012).


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