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The Sparrow
by Russell, Mary Doria
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1. What is this book about? Is this an adventure story about one culture meeting another that it can't understand? Or is the author trying to tell us something else?

2. Can you understand what made the group want to go on this expedition? Would you have wanted to join them?

3. Why do you think Sandoz resists telling the story of what happened on Rakhat? How is Emilio Sandoz's faith tested on Rakhat?

4. Is the Jesuit mission to Rakhat scientific or religious? Do you see any parallels to missionary and scientific explorations of the 15th and 16th centuries?

5. Do you think we will make contact with extraterrestrials? What impact do you think that will have on our society? Will it change the way we think about God and our place in the universe?

6. Discuss your thoughts about the relationship between Emilio Sandoz and Sofia Mendez. Why does Sandoz maintain his vow of celibacy?

7. Do you think that Emilio Sandoz will recover from his experiences? Does he regain his faith?

Additional discussion questions from: Reading Group Guides
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