Sunday, March 9, 2014

Getting morality/religion/God through the classics

Someone recently asked me about teaching literature, and before I knew it, I was blabbering about the depth of the writing and how much great, meaningful, existential stuff is there and blah, blah, blah.

After writing my post a few minutes ago on religious semantics, I thought about the service today, in which the minister discussed Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by Satan.  The minister of family life spoke about how he found himself in the wilderness of Target, being lost and uncertain.  Every time they spoke of wilderness I thought of Victor Frankenstein, traipsing around the mountains, searching for his monster, figuring things out, struggling with God and Victor's own ill-fated attempts to play God.

When I think of many classic writers, they were often intellectuals who either didn't subscribe to any kind of belief or had serious issues with religion. Certainly not all were like this, C.S. Lewis being one who was well known for his religious/theological writings.  Perhaps this is why I feel such a kinship with them.  Perhaps their own stewing and wilderness walking, laid bare in the pages of their books, is where I feel most comfortable.

I am discussing The Count of Monte Cristo right now with my high schoolers, a book that is rife with issues of morality, forgiveness, death, resurrection, revenge, pride, humility, and God's power.  Reading it, thinking on it, researching literary criticism about it sometimes feel to me like an effort in prayer, of sorts.

An effort in figuring things out for myself, in language I understand and have no semantic issues with.  

No comments: