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Fantasy and Orthodoxy


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#21 Anna Stickles

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 05:39 PM

Just a note on Harry Potter too. Our family are fanasy/sci-fi fans but one of the things that I found problematic in the Harry Potter books is also something quite problematic in many, many of the current children's literature and movies -This is subtle ways that the author makes adults out to be fools and the children as wise and good. Note the way the uncle is portrayed or the father of .... I forget the other boy's name.

Spy Kids is another example of this not to mention the Simpsons which is so blatant who could miss it.

Edited by Anna Stickles, 10 January 2009 - 06:11 PM.


#22 Michael Paul Hughes

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:29 PM

Greetings,

I used to be a serious writer with 7 or 8 years of work on a Fantasy novel. Then I realized the possible vanity of such a quest. I love to read fantasy, but when I think about 1 John which states, "Do not love the world or anything in the world, for when you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you." I began to feel afflicted as I read in the OSB that the "world" refered to is "Creation after the fall". While some writers are Catholic, Like Tolkien, or Anglican, like C.S. Lewis, or pagan, their writings must certainly be mixed with passions and, in some cases, demonic or vain imaginations. How much more then would my heart be influenced, as a repented and repenting heritic who is not yet baptized Orthodox into the name of Christ, by exposing my mind to pagan writings? I would greatly desire spiritual direction on such questions.

Michael Paul

#23 Paul Cowan

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:04 AM

Paraphrasing here...whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is holy; think on these things.

#24 Michael Paul Hughes

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:40 AM

Thank you. I have read that before. I have tried to convince myself that I can hang on to a little bit of the world. But if I do, perhaps I wont be at all like the man who sold all his possessions so that he could obtain the Pearl of Great Price. Gratefully, the Lord is making me love that which is pure and holy and lovely more and more. I am convinced that this is what Christ meant by, "The Pearl of Great Price." Please pray for me in this and that I can overcome smoking so that I can honor the body which Christ has given me.

thank you so much and God bless you.
Michael Paul

#25 Paul Cowan

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:28 PM

Jesus IS the Pearl of Great Price

#26 Anna Stickles

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

Usually for spiritual direction we ask our priest.

#27 Eric Peterson

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:03 PM

I think that "secular" reading, particularly the literary classics, is extremely valuable and to be encouraged, particularly in our day and age in which the foundations of civilization are being destroyed and rebuilt according to an anti-Christian worldview. Scripture and spiritual reading is, of course, of primary value. But Dickens, Austen, Dostoyevsky, Tolkein, O'Connor et al in many ways apply this knowledge in the worlds they have created. One can read a lot of spiritual literature and be unable to digest it all. But in classic literature, people can receive good things in easily digestible portions. A person may read the Lives of the Saints and stumble over certain questions like "Is this all really true?" (which isn't really important for the purpose). But he can read literature (in Greek, word art, which if it lives up to its purpose as Archimandrite Cherubim alludes, brings people to the Word and shows them how to be real human beings) and get a glimpse of life as it should be (Christian civilization) through osmosis, and without tripping. Fr Seraphim Rose speaks of this.

One may read the story of the Wise Men in the Gospel of Matthew and be edified for a bit. But read Ben-Hur and Lew Wallace's thoughts on the Wise Men and find a deeper perspective. It's not exactly traditional, but the spiritual meaning is all there.

#28 Michael T.

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:40 PM

There is something about the the word "magic."' Anytime one uses that word, it means so many different things to people. To some it is anything supernatural, others see it as withces with pointy hats stiring a caudrin and all that silly stuff. Some people look at these groups such as Wiccans and others that that believe in the casing of speels or Voodo and animistic (sp) religion. I didn't think too much about except for some of the people wiggy (nutty)people I ran into that were "interested' in such things.

 

Then I took a religion course in college, I was taught that "magic" is anything that attempts to control or influuence powers or beings greater than our self. this was with a particular emphasis on the controling of gods, the macrocosm, angels. this was generalized by saying that magic is anthing that is used by the microcosim (us) to control the microcosm (the universe or God) So when I speak of magic it means very little or nothing to me if this is even supernatural is even possible.

 

Even if every magical power that has ever been imagined is real, the supernatural part of magic would not be as dangerous as the philosophical idea. The idea of magic of Mankind controling God is antithetical to the basic beliefs of each and every Abrahamic religion. God is not ourr puppy to do our bidding. Prayer is not to influence or control God, how arrogant could a person be to think that he could give council to God? To me then, the question is, is this book teaching the idea that we should subgugate our will to God? The great power of books and stories is not so much what is portrayed as it is, to what is taught. If we watch a movie and the "good guy" wins in the end, does he do so by taking ethics and moralityin his own hands or does he do so through his belief in a code? Magic is when the Cannaanite people had sex in the temples, this was to get the Canaanite equvalent of Isis and Osiris to have sex so that the fertility of spring would come and thier crops would grow. In reality, Christian Magic is an oxymoron, for if it is magical it isn't Christian, but all to many Christians do all too many things trying to get God to do their bidding. God is in control, and he should be,


Another concept that is central not just to Christianity but all the Abrahamic religions is "reality" First to link this idea with the previous: when we recognize the reality that God is in contol and should be, and live by the will of God we are living in reallity. When one looks at the history of the questions of the forbidding of graven images, how icons are made (the lack of perspective for example) We are taught to live in reality and not allow virtual realities (including things such as fiction, theater, or vidio games) to cause us to believe in things that are not real. this is why icons dont portray Christ as a German, African, or Oriental, but as a Jew; why?, because that is what he is, a Jew. This idea was the central idea of the iconoclasts.While this idea is a correct idea, iconclasts were wrong because of a basic misunderstanding of icons.(no point going there for this discussion) this is part of the reason the Fathers tell us that we are not supposed to use icons as a launching point for fantasy.


One last small point. I think it is interesting that John Woolman, a Quaker elder and one of the most influential abolutionist, who also believed that the Quakers should live separated from the World (like the Amish) said in his Diaries that it is wrong to keep chiildren ignorant or naive about the world for then they are like a little duckling wonderring around the forest, and easily snapped up by the first fox that comes along.






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