Discussion questions for Doubt
If the review of Doubt below piqued your interest in watching the movie, here are some questions you might consider for your own, personal reflection; or, better yet, for discussion with friends.
- What were you thinking about as the film ended?
- Did you like any of the characters in the film? If so, did your personal feelings for this character change in the course of the story? Why?
- Did you identify with any character in the film? If so, with whom and why? If not, why not?
- Father Flynn said, “The truth makes for a bad sermon. It tends to be confusing and have no clear conclusion.” What do you think he meant by this? Do you agree with him?
- When Sister Aloysius shared her fears with Donald Miller’s mother, she defended her decision to keep him at St Nicholas despite those fears. Do you agree with her decision? Were you surprised by her defense of her decision?
- Sister Aloysius remarked to Sister James, “In the pursuit of wrongdoing, one steps away from God.” What do you think she meant by this? Do you agree?
- Do you think Father Flynn is guilty or innocent? Why? Would it surprise you to learn that many viewers of the film find it difficult to answer this question?
- In the last scene of the film Sister Aloysius suddenly sobbed and told Sister James, “I have such doubts!” Why do you think she did this? Were you surprised by it?
- Doubt writer/director John Patrick Shanley recently said, “We are living in an age of extreme advocacy, of confrontation, of judgment and verdict. Discussion has given way to debate. Communication has become a contest of wills. Public talking has become obnoxious and insincere. Why? It’s because deep down under the chatter, we have come to a place where we don’t know anything. But nobody’s willing to say that.” Discuss this quote.
- What is doubt? The Scriptures (e.g. James 1:5-8) condemn doubt, but encourage questions. How are doubts different from questions?