Saturday, 17 May 2008

opinions before Trinity

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about the City Churches in After the fires of London.

Simon Barrow writes for Wardman Wire on The Struggle to be Truthful: Thinking Aloud.

In the Church Times Rebecca Paveley interviewed Gordon Brown, see Not strangers but neighbours.

Giles Fraser wrote that Doctor Who proves the success of the gospel.

The Times has The value of mercy as a means of overcoming anger by Usama Hasan.

The Guardian has Andrew Copson writing about humanism and the school curriculum in Face to faith.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 17 May 2008 at 10:09am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

As a 30-year fan of the Doctor on the left side of the pond, I absolutely agree with Giles Fraser. And it's not just the current run. From its very beginning in 1963, Doctor Who has been one of the best examples of moral theology in story form.

And I'd point out that much of "pop" culture can be used to demonstrate and explore these themes. I ran a series of film discussions at my local parish and among the movies we watched and the questions explored were I Robot (what does it mean to be "human"?), West Side Story (can love conquer hate?), and The Sixth Sense (is every talent a gift?)

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Saturday, 17 May 2008 at 11:45am BST

That's been my view (Giles Fraser's) about Dr Who for a time. By far the best adventure was his loss of powers and becoming a schoolteacher, and not wanting them back when offered. His victory over the Master was a resurrection/ Ascension that was caused by simple word solidarity after his 'apostle' went around the world. It's not all brilliant, and some stories are weak in places, and the Doctor does do reluctant violence obviously, but all the references are there.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 17 May 2008 at 4:47pm BST

Anglican Sci Fi Geeks Unite! ;-p

I, too, love Dr. Who (particularly in this iteration, but I did see it---also on the left side of The Pond---going back to the 80s). And not only for the yumminess of Freema Agyemann (though she's a significant reason! ;-D)

There's an interesting contrast between Davies' two shows: DW, and its (omni-sexual!) spin-off, Torchwood. I agree w/ Giles F: in DW, the Christian themes and analogies are very strong (and possibly getting stronger by the minute: I might caution Davies that we're in danger of going over to "Narnia: The Last Battle"-stage, if the messianic-typology is pushed TOO far).

In contrast, however, Torchwood not only seems like Davies' atheism is showing, it's positively (so to speak) *nihilistic* in its cosmology (i.e., The End = The End! Actually, a bit of that crept into DW's S3 finale as well: the only "end" of a dying universe is to, "paradoxically", LITERALLY retreat into the past? :-0)

But of course, this has long been the role of sci fi (and fantasy): to take up the Great Themes, the BIG QUESTIONS---when secular society either dismisses them (towards religion), or tries to "busy itself" so as to ignore them (hence, the other TV obsession w/ nose-to-the-microscope procedurals).

I (literally!) Thank God for "Doctor Who"...

...but Battlestar Galactica is even BETTER. ;-)

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 17 May 2008 at 8:04pm BST

As Anglicanism is full of conspiracy theories these days, we need to knew the reason for the timing of Giles Fraser's piece in the Church Times. Is he, in fact, a wasp?

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 17 May 2008 at 8:05pm BST

Ah JCF, no way man, my vote's for "Lost in Space" and "Johnny Quest", the later being quite prophetic.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Sunday, 18 May 2008 at 1:04am BST

choirboy, are you WATCHING this, the fourth and final season of BSG? Each episode is {Geek Alert} more AWESOME than the last! ;-D

[FYI: the shows you mention are really before my time]

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 18 May 2008 at 9:47pm BST

Actually, as far as Saturday morning cartoons being relevant to the Anglican debate, I suggest Thundarr the Barbarian.

You see, as this video conclusively proves, women can't be priests because they use their brains and read books, while men face danger with an equal mix of dogged courage and utter stupidity. (My hero!) Though New York doesn't seem to change much even after a planetary catastrophe.

Of course, 14 years have passed since the supposed catastrophe in 1994 and I *still* don't have my own Sunsword. So much for Saturday morning cartoons being prophetic. Pshee.

Posted by: Walsingham on Monday, 19 May 2008 at 9:56am BST

"My mind is now at ease." (from Thundar the Barbarian)

She's being sarcastic, right? Thanks for the comic relief, Walsingham.

Posted by: revLois Keen on Monday, 19 May 2008 at 4:06pm BST

Us guys have got it under CONTROL! WHO-RAH!

NO girlz in OUR treehouse!

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Monday, 19 May 2008 at 8:15pm BST

@Lois & choirboyfromhell:

See, us guys know that the solution to any problem is to blow it up. "If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer."

Which is why only men can be priests or bishops. Isn't it obvious? I rest my case.

(And yes, watching Thundarr while assuming Princess Ariel is generally sarcastic makes the show a riot.)

Posted by: Walsingham on Tuesday, 20 May 2008 at 9:12am BST
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