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Character Formation

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 18

Vigen Guroian, "Awakening the Moral Imagination: Teaching Virtues through Fairy Tales"

Available for mp3 purchase
(from The Intercollegiate Review, Fall 1996)

In this audio reprint of Vigen Guroian’s “Awakening the Moral Imagination,” 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. 47 minutes. $2.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 105

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Guests on Volume 105: Julian Young, on the historical context of Friedrich Nietzsche's ideas and on why he still believed in the necessity of religion; Perry L. Glanzer, on the failure of American universities to adequately address the challenge of moral formation; Kenda Creasy Dean, on why churches are to blame for the "moralistic therapeutic Deism" so common among teens; Brian Brock, on how the centrality of technology in Western culture encourages us to see the gift of Creation as merely "nature" awaiting our manipulation; Nicholas Carr, on how the distracted character of multi-tasking ruins reading and how social networking systems sustain a "transactional" view of relationships; and Alan Jacobs, on how the literary form of the essay reproduces the unpredictable way that our thoughts develop.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 102

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Guests on Volume 102: Daniel M. Bell, Jr., on recovering the view that the just war tradition is more about the shaping of character and virtue than a checklist for political leaders; Lew Daly, on how the discussion concerning faith-based initiatives raised larger issues about the identity of social groups in American society; Adam K. Webb, on whether the traditional personal and communal virtues in premodern village life must be abandoned for poverty to be alleviated; Stratford Caldecott, on how denying the reality of beauty is linked to a denial of the coherent meaning of Creation; James Matthew Wilson, on Jacques Maritain's pilgrimage to faith and his subsequent development of a rich philosophy of beauty; and Thomas Hibbs, on the similar projects of painters Georges Rouault (1871-1958) and Makoto Fujimura (b. 1960), and how they each resisted various confusions in modern art.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 101

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Guests on Volume 101: James Davison Hunter, on how the most prominent strategies of Christian cultural engagement are based on a misunderstanding about how cultures work; Paul Spears, on why Christian scholars need to understand their disciplines in ways that depart from conventional understanding; Steven Loomis, on why education needs to attend more carefully to nonquantifiable aspects of human experience; James K. A. Smith, on how education always involves the formation of affections and how the form of Christian education should imitate patterns of formation evident in historic Christian liturgy; Thomas Long, on how funeral practices have the capacity to convey an understanding of the meaning of discipleship and death; and William T. Cavanaugh, on the distinctly modern definition of "religion" and how the conventional account of the "Wars of Religion" misrepresents the facts in the interest of consolidating state power.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 54

Guests on Volume 54: Robert P. Kraynak, on Christian Faith and Modern Democracy: God and Politics in the Fallen World; Mitchell L. Stevens, on home schooling and the individuality of children; Ralph C. Wood, on the Christian achievement of detective novelist P. D. James; Mark Henrie, on the films of Whit Stillman and the overcoming of irony; Terry Lindvall, on the responses of American churches to the advent of motion pictures; Richard J. Mouw, on sin, culture, and common grace; and Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, on her book In Quiet Light: Poems on Vermeer's Women.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 50

Guests on Volume 50: Stanley Carlson-Thies, on the theology of "charitable choice"; Bruce S. Thornton, on the loss of ends and the exultation of appetite in the academy; A. J. Conyers, on the origins of the modern view of tolerance (and of Big Government); Stanton L. Jones, on various configurations of science, morality, and homosexuality; Arthur Holmes, on the history of Christianity and education in the liberal arts; Carson Holloway, on All Shook Up: Music, Passion, and Politics; Ted Prescott, on the popular paintings and the prophetic claims of Thomas Kinkade; and Glenn C. Arbery, on the achievement of form in literature.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 44

Guests on Volume 44: James Davison Hunter, on the limits of the psychological view of character; Brian Robertson, on the changes in attitudes toward work and home; David Myers, on the disjunction of wealth and happiness, and crafting a "new American dream"; Robert Frank, on the escalation of luxury and how it can be slowed; Gayle Brandow Samuels, on trees, landscape, and cultural identity; Thomas Hine, on The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager; Thomas Hibbs, on Seinfeld, Hannibal Lecter, and nihilism in popular culture; and Robin Leaver, on how J. S. Bach used musical forms to impart theological truths.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 36

Guests on Volume 36: Vigen Guroian, on cultivating virtue in children; James Tunstead Burtchaell, on how church-related colleges become secularized; Dallas Willard, on training church leaders; Robert Wuthnow, on how spiritual seekers understand their beliefs; Thomas Oden, on why the contemporary Church must learn from the early Church; Darrel Amundsen, on the early Church's views on suicide; Edward J. Larson, on what really happened at the Scopes trial; and Roger Lundin, on Emily Dickinson.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 15

Guests on Volume 15: Jean Bethke Elshtain, on Democracy on Trial; Barry Alan Shain, on communalism in early American Protestantism; Christopher Wolfe, on the moral basis for strong local government; A. G. Mojtabai, on how contemporary novelists ignore religion; Robert Pinsky, on the challenges of translating Dante's Inferno; Suzanne Wolfe, on choosing books for children; Amy Waldman, on the ersatz community of TV shopping networks; Mark Crispin Miller, on the dehumanized feeling so common in modern advertising; Ted Prescott, on the Whitney Biennial, Bruce Nauman, and the "Mutant Materials" exhibit; and Edward Rothstein, on the inner meaning of music and mathematics.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 9

Guests on Volume 9: William Bennett, on the power of stories in the cultivation of virtue; Mark Juergensmeyer, on religious nationalism and the possibilities of new cold wars; Ed Knippers, on the spiritual reasons for the vivid physicality of his paintings of Biblical narratives; Joshua Gamson, on Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America; Ken Myers, on "attitude" and violence in pop culture and on the streets; Richard Doerflinger, on the ethical numbness of the NIH Embryo Research Panel; Richard John Neuhaus, on assisted suicide and the chilling prospects of modern eugenics; and Ted Libbey, on making an initial approach to classical music.

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