Books that Change the World Seminar

Books that Change the World Seminar

Notre Dame College is proud to present its ninth “Books that Change the World” seminar series for the 2016-2017 academic year. Join us for the program offering leaders and aspiring leaders—and anyone with a passion for lifelong learning—the opportunity to meet and discuss a different reading once each month and a common theme for the year.

This year the series theme is Who is My Neighbor? Working with esteemed College faculty on our South Euclid, Ohio, campus, participants will seek insight into the moral, social and cultural challenges faced by leaders of the past and present.

To register or for additional information, contact Tina Jurcisin at 216.373.6520 or

"Who is My Neighbor?" Series Overview

The Gospel of Luke presents a lawyer who asks Jesus, “Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answers the question with another one: “What do you read in the Law?”

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself,” replies the lawyer, quoting Deuteronomy and Leviticus.

“You have answered right,” Jesus replies. “Do this and life is yours.” End of conversation.

But no. The lawyer comes back again--“anxious to justify himself,” Luke observes--and asks, “Who is my neighbor?”

That launches Jesus into what is arguably the best short story ever written, one we call today the parable of the Good Samaritan. It was the Samaritan, the outsider--not the Levite, not the priest--who rescued the man who had been robbed, beaten and left for dead on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. The neighbor is the one who showed mercy to the one in need.

Our world is a macrocosm of the Jerusalem-Jericho road, seething with all kinds of violence. Sometimes we can’t bear to look, so we walk on by. What is it that leads people to stop, to notice the other’s pain, and to take the very real risk of acting on behalf of the one in need?

In the 2016-17 Books that Change the World series “Who is My Neighbor?” we will explore the moral courage of individuals who notice and act. In this US election year, we will try to take a clear look at the violence and consider the costs of acting, and not acting, when a neighbor calls out for mercy.

Readings For 2016-2017

The theme for this year's "Great Books" Books That Change the World Series is "Who is My Neighbor?" We will meet in sessions on either Tuesday evenings (6-8 p.m.) and Thursday mornings (7-9 a.m.) beginning in September. The programs will be led by Professor Sr. Eileen Quinlan and Associate Professor Ken Palko.

The readings for 2016-2017 will be:

September 20/22

The Round House

Louise Erdrich

October 18/20
(Notre Dame's Abrahamic Lecture speaker in November)

Tattoos on the Heart

Gregory Boyle

November 8/10

The Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

December 13/15

An Enemy of the People

Henrick Ibsen

January 17
(no Thursday a.m. session)

Movie Night Discussion: Matewan


February 14/16

The Plague

Albert Camus

March 21/23           

Midaq Alley

Naguib Mahfouz

April 25/27

Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates


The fee for the series will be the same as it was last year, $395, which includes the costs of sessions, books, materials, continental breakfast at morning sessions and light hors d'oeuvres and dessert at evening sessions. For more information, or to register, please contact Tina Jurcisin at 216.373.6520 or


Registration & Relevance

Register now and join us on campus once each month during the academic year

Seminars anchored in the "great books tradition" draw leaders into thought-provoking analyses of contemporary issues through the medium of timeless literature and are among the most eagerly sought-after personal enrichment and professional development experiences. The ideas, concepts and situations these works present are as relevant to today’s challenges and opportunities as when they were first penned.

The College invites organizational or community leaders, or people who are passionate about great books and lifelong learning, to participate in our annual "Books that Change the World" and join peers in stimulating discussions about fine literature.


July 22
7:30 PM
Saturday July 22, 7:30pm
Regina Auditorium
E.g., 07/22/17
E.g., 07/22/17