Reading the New Encyclical

July 9, 2009

John Schwenkler proposes an excellent idea which may appeal to some of this blog’s readers:

So … anyone out there interested in reading the new encyclical together, a chapter or two at a time? I should acknowledge right away that I’m no expert on Catholic social teaching (though I did once research and write a long but unsigned encyclopedia article on the topic, and came away with very few sympathies for the standard Novak-Weigel-Neuhaus line), and of course I do have my own biases that I should be better about allowing documents like this one to challenge, but then again remedying such defects would be very much the purpose of the exercise.

What I’d do is post some very general talking points – perhaps on Sunday afternoons? – and then let the discussion unfold in the comments from there. I see six chapters, plus an introduction and a conclusion, which would mean about two months to get through the whole thing if we really took our time. Leave a note in the comments if you’re interested; if enough people are, we can get started on the introduction for this coming weekend.

I’ve been puzzling over where to begin in writing over this thing, so fingers crossed this’ll provide adequate impetus…


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