Colloquy Downeast announces next series of discussions

BLUE HILL — Colloquy Downeast has announced its next group of weekly online discussion offerings for January, February and March.

Topics will include Faith and Politics, Water Use and Misuse and the Mystique of Jane Austen Novels.

Colloquy Downeast was formed in 2000 to provide a program for learning and thoughtful discussion of topics of general interest. Since then, it has organized more than 100 colloquies (small study and discussion groups organized around a specific topic) on a wide variety of subjects. The organization is managed by an all-volunteer steering committee.

“Faith and Politics” is scheduled for Jan. 5, 12, 19 and 26 from 1-3 p.m. via Zoom. Facilitator Kim Lengert, a lawyer, pastor and Republican, will base her discussions on the questions “Should the law dictate religion?” and “Should religion dictate law?” The display of religion in recent politics has raised these questions for Americans concerned about the country’s current elections as well as schools’ curriculums, medical care, climate issues and more. The group will explore the connection of faith and politics using conversation, biblical texts, statements of various faith traditions and more.

Scheduled for Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 10 a.m. to noon is “Water: its Natural History and Human Abuse.” This colloquy will be co-facilitated by Philip Osgood and David Porter.

We take water for granted. It seems to be in boundless abundance and freely available for everyone. For such a common substance, details of its chemical and physical properties and its contribution to the functioning biosphere are less well known or understood. This lack of understanding of our water resource has led to misguided water regulation and misuse of the resource. This colloquy will address the basic properties of water and its significance for life, the history of water on Earth, the human use and misuse of water, the geopolitics of water and where we go from here.

On March 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 1-3 p.m., literature enthusiasts Tyler Knowles and Judy McGeorge will lead discussions on “What is it About Jane Austen Novels?”

They will explore what makes the novels so engaging and so comforting to read. Is it that the main character, always a young woman, ends up with someone who can genuinely appreciate her? Is it because some characters we care about can recognize their own flaws and are able to change? Or do we want to learn why some people are incapable of change? Or is it the irony, the social satire, the comic touches, and the language that make them such fun to read?

For more information about Colloquy Downeast or to register for any of these discussions, visit


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