Newman Forum Book Club


The 2020-2021 Book Club will be reading Thomas More's Utopia

Starting October 2020, the Newman Forum will hold its first ever online Book Club, open to current high school students nation-wide! 

Imagine: you’re an explorer, and you discover a human civilization that has had no prior contact with the rest of the world. What might a society look like? What would be different? What would be the same? Would that society be more just? More unjust? Would you want to live there? Or get away as quickly as you could?

This question of what the world might look like if things were different is the driving questions behind some of the most popular pieces of literature to date! From Lord of the Flies to The Giver, from Fahrenheit 451 to The Hunger Games! Utopian (or dystopian) fiction has become one of the most popular genres for and among young people. 

Thomas More’s Utopia is no different! Not only is Thomas More a Catholic saint, but his imagining of a not-so-far-off place relatively uninfluenced by the modern world invented the genre, one that to this day ignites our creativity and warns us of the risks our societal advancements bring with them. What’s more, Utopia poses some of the most salient questions about why human dignity must be centralized within our society as it problematizes the failings of More’s world.

If you like dystopian or historical fiction, if you’re interested in human rights discourse, or if you are looking for community of like-minded Catholic teens and want to connect with peers from around the country: You’re in the right place!

Meetings will be held every other Tuesday, from 7-8pm CDT via Zoom

Participation fee is $30. Books must be purchased independently (We recommend the Cambridge Texts in the HIstory of Political Thought edition ( Scholarships are available.  


Fall/Winter Meeting Dates:

October 6th

  • Pages 1-11

  • THEMES: Background & POV

October 20th

  • Pages 12-25

  • THEMES: Intro to Utopia and Policies of Criminal Law

November 3rd

  • Pages 25-40

  • THEMES: Present-Day Europe & the Role of Kings

November 17th

  • Pages 41-53

  • THEMES: Geography, Occupations, & Elected Officials

December 1st

  • Pages 53-58

  • THEMES: Social Relations

December 15th

  • Pages 58-63

  • THEMES: “Travels” & Intro to Use of Treasure


Meetings will continue into Winter/Spring of 2021:

January 12th

  • Pages 63-77

  • THEMES: Utopian Philosophy

January 26th

  • Pages 77-84

  • THEMES: Slavery, Marriage, and Law

February 9th

  • Pages 85-92

  • THEMES: Military Practice & War

February 23rd

  • Pages 93-102

  • THEMES: Religion

March 9th

  • Pages 102-107


March 23rd

  • No required reading

  • THEMES: Contemporary Utopian/Dystopian Fiction