Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Discussion Questions for 'Have a Little Faith' by Mitch Albom.

1. Have a Little Faith asks, "What if our beliefs were not what divided us, but what pulled us together?" How would you begin to answer this question? Which of the world's ills could be healed, what wrongs could be made right, if religion was more of a unifying force?

2. How would you react if someone you knew asked you to write their eulogy? How would you go about doing so?

3. In describing the journeys of faith taken by the Reb and Pastor Henry, Mitch Albom discusses his complicated relationship to his Jewish beliefs. Talking about one's religious faith is a personal endeavour; do you find it easy or difficult to talk to others about religion, specifically your relationship to it? Are you comfortable discussing religion with someone with different beliefs?

4. In continuation of the above question, do you think anyone can ever 'win' a religious argument? What do you think lies at the core of disagreements about religion?

5. How can many faiths coexist? If different faiths have different beliefs, how can they all be correct/ Does one faith have the right or obligation to convert the other? When Mitch asks this of the Reb, he explains that just as there are a variety of trees, multiple faiths all come from the same God [page 160]. What do you think about the Reb's explanation? Can dialogue and debate about different beliefs, as the Reb argues, really enrich one's own faith?

6. Compare and contrast the Reb and Pastor Henry. How are their stories similar, different? Did you identify with one man more than the other?

7. Were you uncomfortable with Henry's troubled past, especially when he admits his violation of the Ten Commandments? What did you think of Mitch's hesitation towards him? Do you think that someone who turns so far away from God, even though truly repentant, can really be a "Man of God"?

8. Think about some famous eulogies delivered in recent memory: Charles Spencer's eulogy of his sister, Princess Diana; Oprah Winfrey's of Rosa Parks; Cher's emotional tribute to her former husband Sonny Bono; President Obama's stirring remarks about Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Re-read Albom's eulogy of the Reb at the end of the book - what does it have in common with other eulogies you've heard or read? What makes a eulogy truly memorable -does it rely solely upon the personality of the person who died?

9. Have you ever experienced a crisis of faith? How did you approach it? Was it resolved? Was there a lesson you took away from it?

10. Consider what the Reb says to Albom in the chapter "May:Ritual": 'Mitch, he said, 'faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.' Do you agree with Reb's sentiment?

11. Re-read the anecdote that Albom relays on page 76, about his interpretation of the story of the parting of the Red Sea. What does this story mean to you?

12. "It is far more comforting to think God listened and said no, than to think nobodies out there" [page 82]. What do you think of what the Reb says here? Do you agree?

13. Both the Reb and Pastor Henry describe what they believe to be the keys to happiness. What do you think the secrets to happiness are? Where might faith fall on such a list?

14. After reading Have a Little Faith, were you inspired to learn more about religions other than your own? What are some commonalities between different religions?

15. If you had to write your own eulogy, what would you say about yourself? How would you most like to be remembered?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

我從來不認為不同意我的看法就是冒犯 ..................................................

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