This is the second in a series of guest posts by our friend John Dehlin.
As some of you may know, we are holding an online, multi-part book club discussion around Chaim Potok’s first novel: The Chosen. This is the first discussion post of the series. Expect 2 or 3 posts per week over the next few weeks until we all become sick and tired of Reuven and Danny.
To kick off the discussion — I want to start with what (for many of you) will be the most obvious question.
Without giving any of the major plot points or the ending away (for those who are still getting up to speed) — what parallels have you considered so far between:
a) Hasidic Judaism as portrayed in this book and your experiences with Mormonism, or
b) Any character/event in this story, and characters or events in your LDS experience thus far.
I’ll start with a few of the obvious ones:
– Hasidic Rabbi = LDS Prophet
– Talmud = Book of Mormon
– Kosher = Word of Wisdom
– Orthodox dress, curls, yarmulke = modest dress white shirts/ties, short hair, no facial hair, one earring only (for women)
– Persecutions on both sides (though admittedly disproportionate)
– The baseball game = BYU sports
– “Remember why and for whom we play” = “Remember who you are and what you stand for…return with honor”
– “The Chosen” vs. “The Gentiles” (on both sides)
– “Apikorsim” = Mormon liberals/intellectuals/apostates
– David Malter = Is there a parallel within Mormonism for David Malter?
What parallels have you considered? Any plot points remind you of moments in your own church experiences? Please feel free to share personal stories if you are able/willing.
Next post will be about Chapters 1-3 — and will be posted by Friday — so read up!