Two of the most-clicked posts on this blog have been Paul Holmer: How literature functions and Umberto Eco on theory and narrative. The common theme between the two might be that storytelling is not only necessary, but also of greater value than systematized and abstracted knowledge. Granted, the structure of Eco’s quotation seems to give priority to theorizing, but Holmer argues that humans learn more broadly and deeply from stories than from abstract or systematic knowledge.
So a quotation from James K.A. Smith’s book Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church, found in this recent review, was a welcome addition to the theme:
“We were created for stories, not propositions; for drama, not bullet points.”
In this context, it’s probably worth remembering that beloved storyteller C.S. Lewis warned against systematizing the Bible.
Posted in Christian Humanism, common grace, literature, philosophy, story, storytelling, theology
Tagged books, bullet points, C.S. Lewis, drama, James K.A. Smith, narrative, Paul Holmer, philosophy, propositions, stories, storytelling, theory, Umberto Eco
Screwtape is a plum role—part Noel Coward . . . part Hannibal Lecter . . . part Iago. C. S. Lewis described the process of writing Screwtape as difficult, but playing him is a lot of fun. I remember hearing Malcolm Muggeridge speak of “fictional good” as dull and boring while “fictional evil” is fascinating and engaging. He also was clear to say that in life it is quite the other way around. Perhaps that is one reason film depicts so much violence and evil.
-Max McLean, writing about acting the part of Screwtape from C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, in this article. The show at Lansburgh Theatre in Washington, D.C., wraps up Sunday.