In his article “Awakening the Moral Imagination,” Vigen Guroian discusses the role that fairy tales plays in moral formation. The multi-dimensional world of the fairy tale has the capacity to depict a compelling vision of what is good and evil without reducing moral formation to mere instruction and the moral imagination to advanced utilitarian reasoning skills. In this essay, Guroian also contrasts the features of character and virtue with those of what is more modernly called “values,” and examines how these different approaches to moral consideration reflect conflicting ways of understanding self-formation.
This article was originally published in The Intercollegiate Review, Fall 1996. Read by Ken Myers. 47 minutes.
The garden is a personal place of retreat and delight and labor for many people. Gardening helps us collect ourselves, much as praying does. For rich and poor — it makes no difference — a garden is a place where body and soul are in harmony. In Inheriting Paradise, Vigen Guroian offers an abundant vision of the spiritual life found in the cultivation of God's good creation. Capturing the earthiness and sacramental character of the Christian faith, these uplifting meditations bring together the experience of space and time through the cycle of the seasons in the garden and relate this fundamental experience to the cycle of the church year and the Christian seasons of grace. The tilling of the fresh earth; the sowing of seeds; the harvesting of rhubarb and roses, dillweed and daffodils — Guroian finds in the garden our most concrete connection with life and God's gracious giving. His personal reflections on this connection offer a compelling entry into Christian spirituality.
Read by the author. 2 hours. $15.
C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces is, in his own words, “a myth retold.” Literary critic Thomas Howard explains that Lewis’s decision to tell this story as a myth was informed by the fact that the mythical outlook on the world is fundamentally opposed to the tenets of modernity, for which Lewis had such unrelenting criticism.
Guests on Volume 160
• JESSICA HOOTEN WILSON on engaging an unfinished novel by Flannery O’Connor
• GIL BAILIE on how modern nihilism arises because the essentially religious nature of human being is ignored
• KYLE HUGHES on lessons from the Patristics about spiritual formation in the classroom
• D. C. SCHINDLER on why fundamental questions about the human and the good cannot be bracketed from politics
• PAUL TYSON on philosopher William Desmond’s ideas on knowledge, nature, and wonder
• HOLLY ORDWAY on the religious life of J. R. R. Tolkien
Since 1993, the Mars Hill Audio Journal has provided thoughtful interviews and commentary to thousands of listeners.
Subscribe today to receive a regular dose of sound thinking.