Great Books Discussion Groups

Great Books provides a lifelong program of self-education. In 1947 Robert Maynard Hutchins and Mortimer Adler established the Great Books Foundation to give all people an opportunity to join in conversation of our basic beliefs and ideas through reading and discussion. This was the beginning of the Great Books Program,  an affiliate of the Great Books Foundation, a nonprofit educational corporation that now has councils, institutes, and discussion groups across this country and abroad.

The Great Books Program combines:

  1. The opportunity to read books you have always wanted to read and never seemed to have the time for, with
  2. A method called “shared inquiry”. “Shared inquiry” is a discussion process that enables participants who have carefully read the same work to help each other explore and understand the work. A leader provides questions that challenge the participants to think for themselves. The conversation allows participants to share their perspectives and respond to the interpretations of others; it uncovers new and deeper meanings for everyone engaged in this dialogue. It is a method that works, that is exciting, and fun. If you like to share your ideas and enjoy being challenged, “shared inquiry” will work for you. Read more about Shared Inquiry.

Click on the links on the right to find a program that suits your lifestyle.

There are vacation programs (institutes) as well as councils to steer you to individual groups in various locations.  If you cannot find a convenient group, think about starting one and either contact the Great Book Foundation or one of the councils. If you already belong to a book group, you might consider the “shared inquiry” method and becoming a part of the Great Books Discussion Program.