Saturday, November 24, 2012

Please Join Me For the Final Faith and Fiction Round Table

Next Saturday I'll be hosting a discussion of The Final Martyrs by Shusaku Endo as part of the Faith and Fiction Round Table.

A couple of years ago I had the idea to organize a group of bloggers who were were interested in faith and literature to read a book at the same time and then discuss it. My hope was that we could go beyond just book reviews and open ourselves up to a discussion of ideas that the books introduced.

I tried this idea out for three years in three different ways. The first year, I invited people and tried to compose dynamic groups of different and interesting bloggers. We read the book by an agreed upon date, and then discussed via email. The second year, I formed a group of people who all voted on which books to read and committed to reading them all. And this year, I just tried to keep it open ended, choosing only four books and inviting anyone to participate.

I've enjoyed all the different ways of doing this, but I just don't think the interest is there to keep this up. It's a hard schedule for me, even with only four books, and choosing books so far in advance tends not to work out very well. While I've really enjoyed everyone's participation, it's always very minimal. I just don't think the Faith and Fiction round table has ever quite been what I hoped it would be.

So next week's discussion of The Final Martyrs will be the final one. In the future, if I come across a book of faith I want to read with others, I'll just announce a readalong on the spot!

I do hope you'll consider joining in next week if you have a chance to read The Final Martyrs, though. Shusaku Endo is a very interesting writer and a very interesting writer of faith. I still hope to eventually talk about Deep River one day and of course Silence remains one of my favorite novels of all time.

It's been a lot of fun friends, but it's time to move on and see if there are other ways to have these conversations I so crave. Your participation in the Round Table has always been deeply appreciated and I've really enjoyed reading a lot of these books alongside you. I was reorganizing my books, yet again, the other day and came across A Canticle for Liebowitz which is probably one of my favorites that we've read. And even though I didn't love Peace Like a River in the way I feel I should have, I have been unable to part with it. I've always felt like the books were worth reading and I've enjoyed sharing them with some of you.

Hope to see you next week!


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