Cathedral Reads: The Logic of Love
Cathedral Reads Events
Summer Place and All-Cathedral Book Discussion
August 15, 10 – 11 a.m.
The Cloister is sure to provoke some very interesting conversation. Come see what your fellow Cathedral parishioners thought about it! Can you believe that happened? What does it mean? What can we learn? And, most importantly: What did Dean Thompson think? Dean Thompson leads this discussion of James Carroll’s The Cloister. Hosted by the Adult Formation and the Religion and the Arts Councils! Sunday, August 15 at 10 a.m. in Reynolds Hall.
No registration is required to attend in person. Register in advance to attend discussion via Zoom.
Journey to 12th Century France
In order to understand the rich history and religious landscape of The Cloister, we hosted a history lesson about 12th Century France. This lecture and Q&A was our first Cathedral Reads event for 2021. It was livestreamed and recorded at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 6 and is available to watch above.
Separating Fact from Fiction and the Theology of Knowledge
WAIT. Did that really just happen? That can’t be true, can it? Join Canon Zartman and Medievalist Ellen Joyce for a high-energy discussion of what is fact and what is fiction (especially when it comes to Abelard and Heloise!) in The Cloister. We’ll also dip our toes into 900-year-old hot topics in the fields of epistemology and theology! This event was livestreamed and recorded August 3 and is available to watch above.
Book Selections for Cathedral Reads 2021
The Cloister, by James Carroll
What’s your formula for a perfect summer read? If it combines endless love with deep scholarship, dueling medieval and modern churchmen, and truths that survive Nazi persecution, you’re in luck. Join Cathedral friends this summer to explore the logic of love, as we discuss James Carroll’s novel, The Cloister.
Carroll — former priest, National Book Award winner, and author of over a dozen acclaimed fiction and non-fiction titles — brings the romance and rhetoric of the twelfth-century monk Peter Abelard and his brilliant pupil Héloïse to life in this well-researched historical fiction. Opening in post-war New York City, The Cloister weaves the narratives of the legendary lovers with those of a fictional French-Jewish medievalist, his scarred and private daughter, and an Irish-American priest. Through the lens of the Church, it illuminates concepts of love and tolerance—tolerance for knowledge, for difference, and for love that doesn't fit prescribed categories. Scholar, monk, daughter, lover, friend: each must struggle to determine if redemption lies within the boundaries of the cloister. While academia and the church may celebrate intellectual inquiry, Carroll suggests that those who press the circumscribed boundaries — for love or logic — do so at perilous personal risk.
What were the dichotomous views of the church held by Bernard of Clairvaux and Peter Abelard? Did the Church play a role in creating anti-Semitism? What role did women have in medieval scholarship? Can we overcome life-changing loss? the Cloister delves deeply into questions like these. It’s a love story on all four levels — storge, philia, eros, and agape — as well as a mystery and an intellectual journey. Transcending traditional literary alchemy, its elements combine to create the perfect formula for a summer read: sizzling and serious.
Sign up to join a small group to discuss The Cloister as you read. Or read at your own pace and join the whole community for discussion during the Dean’s Hour on August 15. Look for more information to come about Cathedral Reads 2021, James Carroll, and his fascinating historical characters. No matter how hot the summer gets, Cathedral Reads 2021 will provide you with come very cool ideas! Additional information on how to sign up for related events and registrations will be available soon.
Cathedral Reads 2021 for Children and Youth
The grownups don’t get all the excitement at the Cathedral! Cathedral Families can join the literary love-fest this summer with Kate DiCamillo’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Edward, a fancy china rabbit given to ten-year-old Abilene in the 1930s, is a rather spoiled creature, until he finds himself on a misadventure on HMS Queen Mary. Edward’s journey introduces him to life-altering experiences and individuals, and it illustrates its own big truth: "If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless."
DiCamillo’s tale of self-discovery, love, and compassion, is a perfect read-aloud, beautifully written and transformative. Join other Cathedral families to read, or re-read, it together and discuss it over the summer. Growing in love is the ultimate adventure, and this summer’s Cathedral Reads provides the books — for kids and grownups —to prove it.
What about the Youth? you ask. We’ve got a spell-binding adventure for them. Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart (the first book in the Inkworld trilogy) follows Meggie as good and evil come to life beyond the pages of the book. As she learns to harness the magic of reading, her adventure will remind readers — of all ages — that stories can change our lives forever.
Additional information on related events and registrations will be available soon.You can purchase your copy of any or all of these titles at The Cathedral Bookstore .