Isn’t that a most beautiful banner? And it heads up a most beautiful new blog with a most original and surprising concept. The blog is Love Among the Ruins; the focus is “finding the Theology of the Body in unexpected places”, and the concept? Well, I’ll let Kathryn, the blog’s curator, explain:
One year ago today, I published a post on my own blog (Through a Glass Brightly) which was titled “Good Clean Fun”: The Theology of the Body in Groundhog Day.. . .Several months later, I learned that a professor of the Theology of the Body at Hillsdale College in Michigan had assigned to his students a final project which cited my Groundhog Day post as the example they were to follow. The prompt read,
The Theology of the Body, at its deepest point, is intended to provide a fundamental framework for thinking about and interpreting all of reality. The task of your paper is to bring the insights of the Theology of the Body to bear upon some aspect of culture (contemporary culture, pop culture, or “high” culture). You may choose a work of fiction or drama, film, music, or some other form. Your interpretation, at its best, should help to illuminate your subject through the Theology of the Body, as well as the Theology of the Body through that subject.
Happily, I was invited to attend the oral presentations of these papers. I was floored by the quality of many of them, and I kept thinking, “These need to be published. Where? How?” Then the professor turned to me and said, “Wow! We need to take this show on the road!” Then I realized that I should be the one to do it, and that Patheos would be the perfect platform for spreading this good news.
Many of the most impressive papers from that class will be transformed into blog posts for the benefit of anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear. Then I will go about courting other Theology of the Body courses across the country with the hope of inspiring the same assignment.
My goal is to encourage young people living in this fallen world of ours to discern carefully the merits (or lack thereof) in the entertainment that they consume.
Rather than thinking of leisure as a time to “turn off the brain,” I want them to see that each movie or music video or novel that they digest has a profound effect on their imagination and can lead them either closer to or farther from God. I hope that this generation can learn to appreciate the true, the good, and the beautiful, and to understand that it is a rightly ordered theology which makes or breaks those accolades.
One of the greatest challenges in evangelization is to get people’s attention…
Well, mission accomplished; attention gotten! Read the whole thing, and pass it around. Get people excited about Love Among the Ruins and encourage them to subscribe to it, right away, so they miss nothing! I think as soon as people — especially people with tweens and teens — get what Kathryn is doing, here, they’re going to want to help this thing grow.
One of the most interesting things about this project — and it really is a long-term project of evangelization and catechesis — is that many of the students whose work will be featured here are not even Catholic; Evangelical and other non-Catholic students will be helping to communicate the Theology of the Body to consumers of popular culture. Yeah, I’d call that a “new evangelism”.
Do yourself, and your family, the great favor of taking the time to read “Good Clean Fun”; The Theology of the Body in Groundhog Day“. Perhaps consider reading it aloud to everyone, after supper. It’s one of those pieces that brings a bright light to everyone who comes across it — lightbulbs going off above everyone’s heads on Candlemas; what could be more fitting?