“What’s the use of stories that aren’t even true?” Narrative and the Christian reader
Stories help us to consider truth in more than a propositional way. Stories give us environments to explore, engage and stretch our imaginations, reflect our lives back to us, help us to compose our own narrative identities, and encourage us to see from other people’s points of view. At the same time, any tendency to treat literature as salvific turns the imagination into an idol. But the Christian grand narrative anticipates that its hearers will move from what Ricoeur calls living the story ‘in the imaginary mode’ to living it in real life and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
** This lecture will engage with Salman Rushdie's little fable Haroun and the Sea of Stories, ostensibly a children's book, which students are encouraged to read before the lecture, if at all possible.
Faculty Lunch in PDR, Alexander Hall
“Literature and Shalom: Teaching Freshman Students to Read”
A short (15-20 minute) paper about Wolterstorff’s argument for art as a form of action directed towards shalom and Ricoeur’s concept of the narrative intelligence. I will talk about how I tested out these ideas in a freshman non-specialist English class where the interpretation of literature, covered by the power of prayer, fosters both intellectual and moral virtues.