In order to save humanity, Hyrum Graff and other military leaders believe they must manipulate a prodigious child named Ender Wiggin. As they isolate him and lie to him, one questions if this is the best way to create a hero. Knowing that most stories, including scripture, link a protagonist’s maturity with their victory, we can draw conclusions about Graff’s end purposes. Spoilers follow.
Oppressive Hope in The Hunger Games
While we need hope to seek a better life for others and ourselves, it can also serve as a tool of oppression. A scene added to The Hunger Games movie, not included in the novel by Suzanne Collins, depicts the type of hope that perpetuates injustice. Applying President Snow’s insight, we can identify false hopes including the prosperity gospel.
How Les Misérables Advocates for Nonviolence
Les Misérables powerfully and uncomfortably presents poverty, injustice, and evil. It asks, “What will you do about it?” Inspired by historical data and faith in God’s promises, we can follow the nonviolent, proactive, and sacrificial example of Jean Valjean (and also Jesus).
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The Sith, Nietzsche, and the Nature of Reality
With the ever-expanding canon of the Star Wars saga, the writers elucidate Sith philosophy. Comparing this with real world beliefs, especially Friedrich Nietzsche’s master morality, we can draw key conclusions about the nature of morality and of the universe itself.
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How Darth Vader (and You) Need a Father
Ever wonder why so many heroes grow up without parents and why countless stories pivot on the encounter with a father? Focusing on Anakin Skywalker’s life and path to the Dark Side, we find that his quest for a father, central to the hero’s journey, reveals our deepest need.
How Three Laws of Robotics Point to God
When Isaac Asimov wrote the three laws of robotics, he did not simply describe fictional robots. He proposed a moral code for humanity. From his novel, I, Robot, and the Will Smith movie with the same name (spoilers for both), we see the benefits of these laws. At the same time, their insufficiency points us to a personal God. Continue reading How Three Laws of Robotics Point to God
Does Jesus follow Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey?
Joseph Campbell boldly claims in The Hero with a Thousand Faces that ancient stories across cultures portray the “monomyth”, detailing the hero’s journey. Testing the assertion, does Jesus Christ of the Gospels follow this template? To a degree, yes, but his life and teaching also stand in contrast to the underlying worldview that Campbell professes. Let us delve into his story and come face to face with Jesus the Hero.
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Two Throne Rooms and a Life Goal
Two timeless classics, Star Wars: A New Hope and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe climax in a throne room, where the main characters receive honor and recognition. The scenes share many similarities, but the stark contrast between them, when applied to our lives, can lead to joy or sorrow.
Hyperion, Sacrifice, and Abraham’s Dilemma
In Dan Simmon’s novels, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, Sol Weintraub dreams that a voice tells him to sacrifice “your daughter, your only daughter Rachel whom you love”. As a Jewish ethics professor, he questions the morality of sacrifice and any god who would ask for it, whether in his case or in the story of Abraham and Isaac. While he raises typical objections, the events of the story change his perspective, giving us insight into sacrifice and the purposes of God.
Recently my husband and I had the privilege of visiting Oxford. Ever since I read C.S. Lewis’s account of his memorable walk with his friends JRR Tolkien and Hugo Dyson, I wanted to visit Addison’s walk myself. Walking where two of my favorite authors discussed faith and myth made a dream come true. Continue reading Addison’s Walk