Tag: Transcendent/Immanent


Turning Routines into Rituals


Both routines and rituals involve a regular repetition of some action. But they are very different. Routines will flatten our lives, but rituals can thicken them. Routines are like ordinary time and rituals are linked with "higher times." With a routine there is a clear, linear connection between the act and...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Shot”


In A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving presents an incarnational spirituality in the novel. Owen is the character that embodies this view of reality. That Irving is not able to embrace the incarnational view is manifest in the conversion of the story’s narrator, John Wheelwright. Wheelwright ends up believing...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Finger”


This post will not be about the finger.  You probably already figured out that through the removal of his finger, John Wheelwright joins Chief Watahantowet, the armadillo, the dressmaker's dummy, the Mary Magdalene statue in armlessness. By this point in the novel we have a pretty good understanding of the person...

A Prayer for Owen Meany – “The Ghost of Christmas Future”


In chapters 4 and 5 of A Prayer for Owen Meany, Owen fills two roles in the dramatic productions of Gravesend 1953 Christmas season.   He assumes the role of the Little Lord Jesus in the Christmas Pageant in the Episcopalian church and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Little Lord Jesus”


In A Prayer for Owen Meany, Owen and Johnny function as foils in Irving’s exploration of faith and doubt. Owen represents an incarnational position where transcendence is seen to be within the material world, and the young Johnny sees the transcendent as far off and irrelevant (likely nonexistent) to the world...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Foul Ball”


A Prayer for Owen Meany is narrated by the adult John Wheelwright. As he tells the story of how Owen Meany is responsible for his belief in the Christian God, he regularly breaks into the narrative commenting on his life in the present, often on his current spiritual struggles ....

The Idea of the Holocaust…


When I was in high school, I was fascinated with World War II.  I took a class on World War II and I guess my fascination continued into college because I majored in history and I took another course on World War II.  I watched all 26 episodes of the...

Warm Bodies: the Book


You know you're an English teacher, if, when a movie is released, you buy the book.  The cover of my version of Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion is the movie's poster, but the it is better than a silly romance which cover seems to suggests. The book's first-person narrator is R...

Zombies Represent the Crisis of the Modern Idenity


The zombie functions as a monstrous other, transgressing boundaries and unsettling the modern identity, as monsters have always done.  But, it goes beyond the scope of traditional monsters in that it also holds a mirror up to the secular self, and suggests, without the transcendent, we may nothing more than animated...

Traditional Values: Consumed by the Zombie Horde


Not only is it difficult to attribute the term “evil” to this most modern of monsters, it is also difficult to attribute the term “good” to the “heroes” of the zombie movie.  In fact, the primary victim of the zombie horde, is not the humans that battle the undead for survival;...