A Catholic Reader

Reading Literature in the Light of Faith

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Tag: Catholic reading project

Sunday Snippets: Flannery O’Connor and Catholic Social Teaching.

Wow, Sunday again already? I’ve been busy this week getting my new blog, the Catholic Reading Project, up and running. (Well, that and trying to find an assisted living place for my father.) So my contributions to this blog have been rather meager: a post on a reading method that will help you make sense of all different kinds of written works, and one on some books by and about Flannery O’Connor that I recommend. I’ve got plenty of posts in the development stage, though, and will publish them as soon as I get time. Meanwhile, if you are at all interested in Catholic Social Teaching (and, by golly, you should be!), take a look at the new blog and consider joining us!

And, oh yeah, by request, I’ve added a little more info to my online profile, in case you’re interested. If you’d like to know what some other Catholic bloggers have been doing this week, don’t forget to take a look at Sunday Snippets — A Catholic Carnival.

Learn to read intelligently, even when you are out of your depth

Child reading Mortimer Adler's How to Read a Book

My experience teaching college taught me that most college students are poorly equipped to read on their own (most of them don’t read at all, unless you hold a gun to their heads, as I’ve pointed out before), by which I mean that they don’t know how to make sense of what scholars call “primary texts” (works as they are actually written, rather than works as they are digested and described by others — such as textbooks). To help my students learn to read primary texts from any of a number of fields (e.g., I regularly taught philosophical and theological works in my Humanities classes), I developed a 4-step method for understanding, analyzing, and evaluating works of all sorts. From time to time, a student would tell me, in a tone of amazement, that this method had helped them read books and articles for their other classes. (They were amazed the method worked, I was amazed that they’d actually tried it and noticed that it worked.)

Now over on the Catholic Reading Project web site, I’m going to be reading and discussing (hopefully in the company of others — how about you?) a series of magisterial documents of the Catholic Church, and it just so happens that I am no expert on the subject, and I imagine that most of those who drop in on the project or even follow along regularly are going to be no more expert than I. For this reason, I’ve posted my 4-step method over there, in hopes that it will encourage people who might otherwise be intimidated by the idea of reading documents that were not written for general lay readers. If you enjoy reading serious works, but wonder if you’re really getting out of them what you should, you should click the link above and take a look at the method. Then let me know what you think!

Sunday Snippets: Year of Faith

The new Year of Faith was definitely my theme this past week, with a couple of posts about my new online Catholic Reading Project, and a feature on the catechism study package from Logos Bible Software. I’m so busy lately that I have trouble reading as much as I would like, so I’m going to start posting book reviews based on Kindle samples — most of my book selections these days start out with reading the downloadable Kindle sample of the book. I’ve found you can tell a lot from the sample — probably more than from flipping through a physical book in a book store — and since I’m doing lots of “sampling,” I may as well let others get the benefit of my experience.

If you’d like to know what other Catholic bloggers are up to these days, don’t forget to take a look at the Sunday Snippets round-up