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Posts tagged ‘Mennonites’

[Russell Johnson] Walt Disney Presents “Martyr’s Mirror, or The Bloody Theater”

Another essay from the festschrift, from the co-editor, Russell Johnson.  Russell is a 2nd-year MTS student at Duke Divinity School

And They Died Happily Ever After, Or: Walt Disney Presents “Martyr’s Mirror, or The Bloody Theater” 

Russell Johnson

This essay is inspired by Amy Laura Hall in four ways. First, it stems from an insight that formed the backbone of the class “Love in the Christian Tradition,” namely, the fact that our imaginations are fed much more by stories than by arguments. Thus, if we want to think about ethics, that we have to look critically at the narratives that have shaped and continue to shape us. Second, the essay treats on some “Hallian” subject matter: Disney movies, the raising of children, and the complicated relationship between happiness and brokenness. Third, this project began as an essay and ended as a sermon, reflecting the blurring of those two categories that Professor Hall encourages and in some ways embodies. Fourth, the essay is exploratory rather than authoritative. When her students write essays, Professor Hall encourages them to begin not with a thesis statement, but with a burning question. The way to write theology is like the recommended way to see Venice: get yourself horribly lost and then try to find your way around, taking the time to soak in everything you encounter. There’s a conclusion, but it’s far from conclusive. Interestingly enough, the same could be said about the lives of martyrs…

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