Fundamental to our group is the belief that anyone can read and understand great literature. We believe that readings should be discussed in a conversation that lets people discover and understand the book. If a group truly holds a conversation on the book, they will want to choose books with enough depth to hold us to a serious investigation.
The discussion is central to our philosophy because it is the discussion that fosters understanding. We discourage anyone from teaching a book or even bringing in expert analysis. The Great Book experience is dependent on everyone coming to the discussion, the material already read, and having an honest examination where everyone's opinion is equally valued.
A great discussion requires work and experience from the leader. The ability to formulate good questions is foremost to a great discussion. We encourage leaders to create questions for which even they don't have an answer, requiring participants to examine the issues with each other. Leaders should not be considered experts on the book. Rather, discussion leaders aim at creating an environment of deep thought and analysis by the readers.
We hold a yearly workshop for beginners, and we will come to individual groups for training on the basics. Click below to email Bill about upcoming sessions.