Timothy Dalrymple asks:

My doctoral dissertation was devoted to Kierkegaard, and among the manifold influences on Kierkegaard were the German Romantics. The German Romantics had a tendency to examine literary and dramatic genres in terms of the worldviews they expressed, and Kierkegaard picked this up. So ancient tragedy was not merely a genre; it reflected a particular way of dealing with reality, a particular way of living in the world, and a set of beliefs and values came along with it. One of Kierkegaard’s earliest pieces contrasted the worldviews expressed in ancient and modern forms of tragedy. Attending the theater was attending training in how to live. By watching the motions, the passions, the decisions of those upon the stage, we are trained for our own motions, passions and decisions.

Which leads to the question: What is the worldview communicated by now-contemporary movies and television? When children watch thousands of hours of movies and television, in which untold thousands of characters face untold thousands of decisions, including extremely important decisions, without once asking what God would have them do, or how this will affect their souls and their eternal destinies, or whether there is such a thing as eternal truth and salvation, how does this effect them? Are we illicitly training our children to face life’s decisions without reference to God, by showing them an endless succession of fictional characters who do precisely that (and get along just fine, thank you very much)?

All of this was brought to mind when I watched a recent episode of Glee entitled Grilled Cheesus.

1 Comment

  1. realistically I think we are teaching our children to make major decisions without asking God by the sheer fact that we ourselves do that. The television/film question isn’t unimportant but my kids are learning a lot more about how to make important decision from watching me than they are from watching Glee.

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