Rockhurst Reads Book Club Launches, Connecting Rockhurst Communities Online

Monday, January 13, 2020
Fr. Curran reading a book

Resolve to read more this year? We’ve got you covered.

Starting Jan. 13, the Center for Arts and Letters at Rockhurst University will be giving Rockhurst alumni and friends a new opportunity to connect and learn from one another with the launch of Rockhurst Reads, a free, private online book discussion group.

Its first selection, Love Your Enemies, by Arthur C. Brooks, is a recommendation straight from University President the Rev. Thomas B. Curran, S.J.

The book lays out how society can move past its current partisan, winner-take-all mindset by fostering respect, kindness, and dignity, and why it’s necessary to do so. Fr. Curran said he references the book during his Catholic social teaching course, and it’s one that offers something for readers of nearly every persuasion, he said.

“Brooks really asks for a conversation, and that’s what we’re about,” Fr. Curran said. “A conversation whereby we move from a place of contempt for others to a place of love. And that love consists in willing the good of another.”

Participation in Rockhurst Reads is easy — signup through PBC Guru is free for all alumni, friends, faculty and staff, and discussions of each section of the book take place through the site. A leader will post questions about the text or relevant articles to which readers can respond. All one needs to jump in is online access, a copy of the book, and an appetite for conversation.

That last part is key, say organizers. Rockhurst Reads is not only built around the Jesuit idea of lifelong learning, but also of meeting people where they are and engaging respectfully for the greater good.

Along the way, it’s likely that one-time classmates, alumni from different generations, or friends find an unexpected common thread or share some memories — something that’s already happening on the club’s online discussion forum.

“At the heart of Rockhurst Reads is connection,” said Kristy Peterson, director of the Center for Arts and Letters. “We really hope that by bringing together alumni from different generations, friends of the University, and former classmates alike, we can create a unique opportunity not only for interesting discussions of the book we read, but a greater sense of connection with one another.”