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Reading Groups

Continuing DePauw's tradition of asking the "big" questions through small, faculty-led reading groups.

Each semester, The Prindle Institute sponsors between 4 and 6 reading groups on various topics related to ethics. The reading groups are composed of faculty, staff and students who meet several times throughout the semester to delve into the important questions of our time. Books and refreshments are provided by The Institute.

If you are interested in creating a reading group for Spring ’14, please contact Martha Rainbolt ( 

For guidelines on creating your own reading group, please click HERE.

Spring 2014 Reading Groups at The Prindle Institute

1.   Ken Bain's What the best college students do

Led by Jonathan Nichols-Pethick

What the Best College Students Do delivers on the promise of its title with rich descriptions of what the best college students do, how they think, and what they believe. Bain challenges his readers to give up the standard model of short-term success, in favor of deep learning with payoffs in living purposefully and well. I wish every college student, and every parent, could approach higher education with this sage orientation. It isn't just about the 'A.' (Pamela Barnett, Temple University)

2.  Joshua Greene's Moral Tribes: Emotion, reason, and the gap between us and them

Led by Jeff Dunn

Greene offers a set of maxims for navigating the modern moral terrain, a practical road map for solving problems and living better lives. Moral Tribes shows us when to trust our instincts, when to reason, and how the right kind of reasoning can move us forward.  A major achievement from a rising star in a new scientific field, Moral Tribes will refashion your deepest beliefs about how moral thinking works and how it can work better.

3.  Michael Schut's Food and Faith, Justice, joy, and daily bread

Led by Anthony Baratta and members of the community

Food is itself a joyful gift – recall how the gift of food so often mediates the sanctity and preciousness of life. This new collection of reflections by Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben, Elizabeth Johnson, Alan Durning and others helps you start thinking about the moral, spiritual and economic implications of eating.