- Were the descriptions of the monks and their lives what you expected? Were the types of people who decided to become monks those that you would expect?
- What do you think were the novices’ motivations for pursuing the monastic life? Were other factors, besides religion, involved?
- Which people did you think were going to “make it” to solemn profession? Were you surprised by those who were actually professed?
- The monks, just like the rest of the world, seem not to be without their prejudices. What kind of prejudices do they have? Are they different from those of the outside world? How do you think these prejudices arise?
- What do you think of the concepts of exclusivity and resistance to change in religious orders? Is it a good or bad thing?
- What do you think of Dom Joseph’s approach to his novitiate? Do you think that he was a good novice master? What does Maguire seem to think?
- How do politics and hierarchy affect the character of Charterhouse life? Novices must be “voted in” to be solemnly professed. Do you think this is a fair system?
- Why do you think that reading (as opposed to discussion) is considered such an important part of a Carthusian monk’s life?
- Could you see yourself entering such a monastery? What do you think you would find the hardest part about being a Carthusian monk?
- Is there a need for this type of religious order in the world today?
- Is there any question you would like to ask these young men, now in their senior years?
- Is there a question you would like to ask the author? —invite the author to attend by phone. See the following.
Enrich your Book Club Discussion – invite the Author to Speak by Phone…
I am available by telephone to answer questions and provide additional understanding of monastic life to your book group, of at least eight members. Book Club Organizers: view a sample email message inviting your club to read An Infinity of Little Hours.
I look forward to this opportunity to meet you,
Nancy Klein Maguire