Rachel and Todd talk about Flannery O’Connor. We discuss the unusual way that O’Connor developed Christian themes in her stories making use of violence and the grotesque. We look closely at four of her stories in particular, at her Southern regional style and humor as well as common themes like intergenerational conflict, urban and rural culture clashes, and racial tension as well as religious themes like depravity, redemption, grace, revelation, and the Holy Spirit.
Rick and Todd talk about Star Trek: an overview of the series, timeline continuity, development of the Klingons, the philosophy of Star Trek, genetic engineering, diversity, the Prime Directive and non-intervention, the secular values of Star Trek, the religious beliefs of other species and their productive tension with the secular Federation.
Jared and Todd discuss the stories and worldbuilding of J.R.R. Tolkien as found in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and others. We discuss the Tolkien cosmogony and pantheon, Eru Ilúvatar, the Music of the Ainur, the Valar and the Maiar, the importance of myth for Tolkien, and the possibility of Tolkien’s world as viable myth for the modern age. We discuss the books and films and their cultural impact, the importance of song, the desire for power (even for ostensibly good purposes), the surrender of control to fate or grace, Christ figures, creation and sub-creation, industry and nature, the scars of war, our Baggins and Took natures, hope in hopelessness, infinite resignation and faith, hastiness, and the gift of death.