PJ’s Book Club is a non-fiction reading group focusing on current works of history, morality, theology and cultural geography. The coordinator (no surprise here!) is Pastor John Valentine and he is the autocratic/dictatorial selector of reading materials for the group. PJ’s Book Club is next scheduled to meet and discuss Michael Sandel’s book Justice on the evening of Tuesday, May 23rd in the Center for Ministry at Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church at 7:00 p.m. Get your copy at Amazon or a local bookstore, because the only rule in PJ’s Book Club is that “If you haven’t read the book, you’re not invited to share your opinions!”
As you read and prepare for our conversation:
• THINK BEFORE READING! How would you define the following terms — ‘justice’, ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’? What – to you – is the relationship between things being ‘fair’, ‘equal’ and ‘just’? Is treating others ‘equally’ necessarily ‘fair’ and/or ‘just’?
• NOTE WHILE READING! Sandel identifies numerous perspectives on justice in the course of his book – utilitarian, libertarian, Kantian, Rawlsian. What statements, words and ideas help you understand each of those positions. (Bring your list to the discussion!)
• CONSIDER! Which of Sandel’s ‘perspectives’ do you find most attractive? Why do you find it the most attractive? How does that ‘perspective’ agree with (or differ from) the ethical admonitions contained in the Bible?
• PONDER! How does Sandel’s book challenge you to think and act differently? What difference might this book make in the ways you make moral decisions?