Fall Reading Group

Why do you get so mad at other people (and yourself?)

Starting Monday, September 25 at 6:30pm (online)

Low Anthropology by David Zahl

This fall, join your fellow St. Alban’s parishioners in a Zoom reading group of the book Low Anthropology, by David Zahl. Zahl runs Mockingbird, a national publishing, events and podcast ministry, and he is on the staff of an Episcopal Church in Charlottesville. Low Anthropology is a funny, insightful book that explains how to develop a more accurate, humble, Christian view of human nature, and why we all should.

Scroll down to the form at the bottom of this page to sign up and receive the Zoom links for our meetings.

Here’s a link to purchase the book at Amazon.

Here is the four-session schedule:

Monday, September 25 @ 6:30pm
(Intro & Chapter 1, Problem of High Anthropology)

Monday, October 23 @ 6:30pm
(Chapters 2-4, The Shape of Low Anthropology)

Monday, November 6 @ 6:30pm
(Chapters 5-6, Mechanics of Low Anthropology)

Monday, November 20 @ 6:30pm
(Chapters 7-10, Life of Low Anthropology)

More Information about the Book

All of us go through life with a certain view of human nature. Every day, we judge ourselves and others based on the expectations we have of people in general – how we think people should act, what their potentials and limitations are. You could call this an “anthropology.”

If you have a “high anthropology,” then you have essentially an optimistic view of human nature. This sounds like a positive thing, but it’s not! (Nor is it Biblical.) Having a high anthropology doesn’t mean that you think everyone is “good” – it means that you think that everyone can and should be “good” (according to whatever definition you have in mind for “good”).

This is actually a recipe for resentment, perfectionism, anxiety, loneliness, and burnout – because nobody (including you) ever fully meets your expectations!

The Christian view of human nature is a “low anthropology” – that all human beings are sinners. When we take a more humble view of humanity, we provide a necessary grace for ourselves and other human beings. And this view fosters hope and deep connection with other people, because we stop dividing the world into “us and them” – and start recognizing what it really means to love our neighbors and ourselves.

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Book purchase links: Amazon or Barnes & Noble