This year marks the 200th anniversary of one of my favorite books â€“ Mary Shelleyâ€™s Frankenstein. Actually, its full title is Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus. And that is a good reminder that this novel is really about Frankenstein the man, not about his creation. Frankenstein is the one who steals from the gods (God?) the ability to create life from that which is lifeless. And, as long as we are clearing up misconceptions, the novel is not about re-animating the dead, as is often popularly shown in the movies, but about the formation of a new being from parts that were not necessarily even human. Early in the narration of his creation, Frankenstein says, â€œA new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent nations would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirsâ€ (61,62). This last sentence in particular is full of dark foreboding because gratitude is an emotion which his creation never feels. [Read more…] about Book Review: Frankenstein
The Road to Character, David Brooks. New York, Random House, 2015.
Summary: David Brooks explores the issue of character development through the hard-won pursuit of moral virtue, exemplified in the moral quests of people as diverse as Augustine and Bayard Rustin, Frances Perkins and Dorothy Day.
“Be on your guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” – I Cor. 16:13, NIV, emphasis mine [Read more…] about The Courageous Christian Scholar (Scholar’s Compass)
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge . . . Â – 2 Peter 1:5, NASB, emphasis mine
Excerpts from Learning in Wartime, by C. S. Lewis, woven throughout post.
In my last post I argued that so long as Christiansâ€™ talk about â€œfinding oneâ€™s callingâ€ is held captive by the modern American idea that self-realization only happens by way of unfettered, individual self-expression, our talk of vocation will be far-removed from Christâ€™s call to live lives of self-sacrificial love. This way of thinking about vocation is inherently self-absorbed and will, more often than not, be blind to our social responsibilities before a hurting world. Instead, I argued that we can better think about vocation by taking seriously both Dietrich Bonhoefferâ€™s claim that we find our vocation within the parameters of our concrete responsibilities to God and neighbor, and Saint Augustineâ€™s famous dictum, â€œLove, and do what thou wilt.â€ These two dicta, I argued, help us to see how Christâ€™s call to self-sacrificial love constitutes both the burning center and the outer limit of our vocations. [Read more…] about Vocatio Christ: The Contours of Our Callings Part 2 (Scholar’s Compass)