Discussion Guide

Table Talk

Come to the Table

Invite your friends, pass the cookies, and dig into Sojourners. Table Talk discussion guides provide a gathering place for communities to discuss issues of faith, politics, and culture—local and global. Table Talk offers a smorgasbord of questions (enough for four sessions, if you want to arrange it that way), as well as resources for further study and action. You bring dessert.

Download in Word or PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader) for copy-ready versions with fewer pages, or click "print this article" button on right.

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Session I. God and Empire

"Dangerous Religion" (p. 20)
"The Project for a New American Empire" (p. 27)
"Defiant Daughters" (p. 31)

Jim Wallis critiques George W. Bush's transformation from a self-help Methodist to a man who seems to view his presidency, and America's position of power, as part of a divine plan to "rid the world of evil." As Duane Shank reveals, the administration's wars and policy are shaped in large part by right-wing ideologues bent on maintaining the U.S.'s worldwide military superiority. Laurel Dykstra's study on Exodus offers one biblical response to empire—the resistance of Pharaoh's daughter.

Questions to Consider

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 2003
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Table Talk

Come to the Table

Invite your friends, pass the cookies, and dig into Sojourners. Table Talk discussion guides provide a gathering place for communities to discuss issues of faith, politics, and culture—local and global. Table Talk offers a smorgasbord of questions (enough for four sessions, if you want to arrange it that way), as well as resources for further study and action. You bring dessert.

Download in Word or PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader) for copy-ready versions with fewer pages, or click "print this article" button on right.


Session I. Holy Land?

"Short Fuse to Apocalypse?" (p. 20)
"How Christian is Zionism?" (p. 25)
"Road Map or Dead End?" (p. 15)
"A Deafening Silence" (p. 18)

Can you bulldoze your way to the New Jerusalem, one Palestinian home at a time? Don Wagner analyzes how "dispensationalism"—originally an obscure fringe theology developed in the 19th century—has made the U.S. Christian Right into supporters of Israel’s most extremist policies, which some fundamentalists even believe will accelerate the second coming of Christ. Meanwhile, a road map for peace in the Middle East offers hope and demands political sacrifice, even as nonviolent activists risk their lives to witness for peace in the region.

Questions to Consider

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 2003
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
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Table Talk

Come to the Table

Invite your friends, pass the cookies, and dig into Sojourners. Table Talk discussion guides provide a gathering place for communities to discuss issues of faith, politics, and culture—local and global. Table Talk offers a smorgasbord of questions (enough for four sessions, if you want to arrange it that way), as well as resources for further study and action. You bring dessert.

Download in Word or PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader) for copy-ready versions with fewer pages, or click "print this article" button on right.


Session I. The Road Ahead

"The Lessons of War" (p. 7)
"Coercion vs. Cooperation" (p. 54)
"One Citizen's Shining Light" (p. 57)

Even as the Bush administration carries on empire as usual, the world is seeing the growth of a peace movement that is bigger, more proactive, and more global than ever before. Two CultureWatch reviews put this movement in the context of past victories and current fears. Jonathan Schell's new book describes the growing power of nonviolent action, from India to South Africa and the former Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Wendell Berry critiques the U.S. government's response to terrorism.

Questions to Consider

1. What actions did you take regarding the war on Iraq before it started? How might you build on the connections and the convictions that have been important to you recently?

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 2003
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
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Table Talk

Come to the Table

Invite your friends, pass the cookies, and dig into Sojourners. Table Talk discussion guides provide a gathering place for communities to discuss issues of faith, politics, and culture—local and global. Table Talk offers a smorgasbord of questions (enough for four sessions, if you want to arrange it that way), as well as resources for further study and action. You bring dessert.

Download in Word or PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader) for copy-ready versions with fewer pages, or click "print this article" button on right.


Session I. Community Spirit

"Saving the Corporate Soul" (p. 20)
"Exorcise That!" (p. 10)

Is your workplace in tune with your values? David Batstone describes how corporations often value profit over their workers' well-being and the interests of other stakeholders. Meanwhile, a group of ministers in Portland is concerned with another kind of large organization—the executive branch of the U.S. government. Inspired by theologian Walter Wink, the ministers see the government's rush to war with Iraq as a spiritual issue.

Questions to Consider

1. What are some of the most important ways in which your workplace and the government do, and do not, reflect your values?

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine March-April 2003
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
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Table Talk

Come to the Table

Invite your friends, pass the cookies, and dig into Sojourners. Table Talk discussion guides provide a gathering place for communities to discuss issues of faith, politics, and culture—local and global. Table Talk offers a smorgasbord of questions (enough for four sessions, if you want to arrange it that way), as well as resources for further study and action. You bring dessert.

Download in Word or PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader) for copy-ready versions with fewer pages, or click "print this article" button on right.


Session I. Passing the Peace

"Prophetic Leadership" (p. 7)
"We Pledge Allegiance..." (p. 15)
"‘Patriotism is Not Enough'" (p. 20)
"Not a Just or Moral War" (p. 26)

"Overpower evil with good! Now that is a radical foreign policy," writes Peter Gomes. How are Christians responding to the U.S. plans for war against Iraq? Gerald Schlabach looks at Romans 12 and 13 as he explores what it means for Christians to call Jesus "Lord," while David Anderson outlines how churches are responding.

Questions to Consider

1. Do you find it difficult to "discern which of the many competing messages about Iraq are coming to you in good faith"? In what ways does your faith affect how you listen to the news?

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Sojourners Magazine January-February 2003
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Table Talk:

Come to the Table

Invite your friends, pass the cookies, and dig into Sojourners. Table Talk discussion guides provide a gathering place for communities to discuss issues of faith, politics, and culture—local and global. Table Talk offers a smorgasbord of questions (enough for four sessions, if you want to arrange it that way), as well as resources for further study and action. You bring dessert.

Download in Word or PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader) for copy-ready versions with fewer pages, or click "print this article" button on right.


Session I. A New Nuclear Age

"The Bomb is Back" (p. 20)

Perhaps you took to the streets for anti-nuke protests in the '80s. Or maybe you came of age after the Cold War, and Hiroshima seems like ancient history. It'll take all of us, Jonathan Schell warns, to reverse the vicious cycle of proliferation and finally abolish the nuclear threat.

Questions to Consider

1. How have you experienced nuclear danger in your lifetime? What during the Cold War? Do you feel more or less threatened by them now?

2. Are people "on the streets" aware of nuclear proliferation and the new, aggressive U.S. policy? Is it true, as Schell writes, that those who oppose the bomb are back too?

3. How has your denomination or congregation opposed the nuclear arms race? Does your church have a statement on nuclear weapons?

Resources

UrgentCall.org. An initiative to educate the public about the new nuclear threat. (http://www.urgentcall.org)

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
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Table Talk

Come to the Table
Invite your friends, pass the cookies, and dig into Sojourners. Table Talk discussion guides provide a bi-weekly gathering place for communities to discuss issues of faith, politics, and culture--local and global. Table Talk offers a smorgasbord of questions (enough for four sessions, if you want to arrange it that way), as well as resources for further study and suggestions for action. You bring dessert.

Download in Word or PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader) for copy-ready versions with fewer pages, or click "print this article" button on right.


Session I. 22 Million Iraqis
“With Weapons of the Will” (p. 20)

Nonviolence is not about putting flowers in gun barrels, say Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall. “It is not about making a point, it's about taking power.” As the Bush administration maps a military route to ending the regime of Saddam Hussein, Middle East peacemakers remind the U.S. of a higher road to democracy—one that incorporates the power of 22 million Iraqis.

Questions to Consider
1. What do you know about the history of the United States in Iraq? What do you think drives the Bush administration's plan to depose Saddam Hussein?

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine September-October 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Table Talk

Come to the Table
Invite your friends, pass the cookies, and dig into Sojourners. Table Talk discussion guides provide a bi-weekly gathering place for communities to discuss issues of faith, politics, and culture--local and global. Table Talk offers a smorgasbord of questions (enough for four sessions, if you want to arrange it that way), as well as resources for further study and suggestions for action. You bring dessert.

Download in Word or PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader) for copy-ready versions with fewer pages, or click "print this article" button on right.


Session I. The Perils of Power
“The Faith Will Survive” (p. 20)


“Seeing With One Eye” (p. 22)


“Catholic Scandal, Ecumenical Solution” (p. 18)

“There’s nothing wrong with Jesus and the sacraments,” said the people of Ireland after a pedophilia scandal rocked the Catholic Church. What’s wrong, they said, is the institution itself. Built on silence, exclusion, and domination, the system that rules the church is crumbling and unless things change, Joan Chittister writes, “it will be the authorities who stand to lose.” Rose Marie Berger offers a blueprint for clergy accountability that begins in our own congregations and denominations.

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine July-August 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Table Talk

Come to the Table
Invite your friends, pass the cookies, and dig into Sojourners. Table Talk discussion guides provide a bi-weekly gathering place for communities to discuss issues of faith, politics, and culture--local and global. Table Talk offers a smorgasbord of questions (enough for four sessions, if you want to arrange it that way), as well as resources for further study and suggestions for action. You bring dessert.

Download in Word or PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader) for copy-ready versions with fewer pages, or click "print this article" button on right.


Session I. From Conquistadors to Corporations
"The Roots of Globalization" (p. 20)
"Cuppa Joe, With a Twist" (p. 26)

Globalization didn't start with McDonald's and Microsoft, or even with the Industrial Revolution, and understanding its history is the first step to responding faithfully to its manifestations in the 21st century. Place yourself in the globalized world—how have you and your community been touched by the far-flung economy or the look-alike culture of globalization?

Questions to Consider
1. The Industrial Revolution was fueled by resources stolen from the poor. As Parker points out, this has never been reciprocated. How much was this reality covered in the history you learned? What do you think about restoring justice by paying reparations?

2. As people of faith we understand that death is an integral, even sacred part of life, but murder is not. What ethical standards should be used to deal with the fact that this year 50 million people will die of preventable disease or malnutrition?

Read the Full Article

Sojourners Magazine May-June 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Table Talk

Come to the Table
Invite your friends, pass the cookies, and dig into Sojourners. Table Talk discussion guides provide a bi-weekly gathering place for communities to discuss issues of faith, politics, and culture--local and global. Table Talk offers a smorgasbord of questions (enough for four sessions, if you want to arrange it that way), as well as resources for further study and suggestions for action. You bring dessert.

Download in Word or PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader) for copy-ready versions with fewer pages, or click "print this article" button on right.



Session I. Fundamentalism
"Fundamentalism and the Modern World" (p. 20)

It's become an especially dirty word since Sept. 11, but does fundamentalism necessarily equal violence? As you read the article, consider the authors' contention that fundamentalist movements in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have more in common than might appear.

Questions to Consider
1. Fundamentalism is defined as "usually a religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism." How would you define fundamentalism? What strikes you as the characteristics of a fundamentalist worldview?

2. What does the cover art of this issue of Sojourners convey about fundamentalism?

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 2002
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
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