Social Issues Forum

Study is an important part of the life of our church. A group of 8-15 members meets on a weekly basis of 4-6 sessions several times during the school year to discuss influential books. In the past our studies have focused on religious issues through reading books by prominent progressive theologians. More recently our focus has been on social issues, especially those which affect our country. Issues we have focused on in the past include immigration, the consequences to most Americans of the unequal distribution of wealth, climate change, and the opioid epidemic.

Our current book for discussion is:

Caste – The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.

The Pulitzer Prize winning, bestselling author of “The Warmth of Other Suns “examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. In Wilkerson’s words: “As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the isles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.”
In this brilliant book, Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

Previous texts have included:

Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (Spring 2020)  

Falter by Bill McKibben (Fall 2019)

Deer Hunting with Jesus by Joe Bageant (Spring 2019)

How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt (Fall 2018)

The Lines Become a River by Franciscu Cantu (Spring 2018)

American Nations by Colin Woodard (Fall 2017)

Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild (Spring 2017)

Racial Injustice Series with Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson and The New Jim Crow by Michele Alexander (Fall 2016)