New Book — “Arriving”

Available from Justin Press, Ottawa, October, 2012 http://www.justinpress.ca/A collection of Michael D. O’Brien’s essays, reviews, and interviews examining the integral role of culture in the new evangelization: where we are gaining ground and where we are losing—and why.  

Mediated Media—Anton Casta

 

Man is also media to himself insofar as he represents his actualized personhood imperfectly.  On a Christian level, we can comment further — man as the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, “represents” or “mediates” his charge, his divine potential, imperfectly. Christians can speak of man as image (living art), or word (living literature), or as man as media — in terms of dialogue within the universal call to evangelization and the renewed call to engage in that dialogue in the “new” media. For Pope John Paul II , the term “new” here denotes the application of the unchanging Gospel message into the world of new media.

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Preface to Harry Potter

Preface to Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture

by Michael D. O’Brien

[published May, 2010] 

This book grew out of a series of articles which were written over a ten-year period for various Christian periodicals. At first, I had no interest in reading the Harry Potter novels, and indeed felt that I had already expended considerable time researching the field of fantasy literature when writing a book on the subject in the mid-1990’s. Moreover, the constant reviews of the Potter series had given me a general sense about the stories and the popular opinions. Oceans of spilled ink and electronic text seemed to cover the pros and cons well enough. No need for me to add my opinion.

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Preface to Harry Potter

Preface to Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture

by Michael D. O’Brien

[published May, 2010] 

This book grew out of a series of articles which were written over a ten-year period for various Christian periodicals. At first, I had no interest in reading the Harry Potter novels, and indeed felt that I had already expended considerable time researching the field of fantasy literature when writing a book on the subject in the mid-1990’s. Moreover, the constant reviews of the Potter series had given me a general sense about the stories and the popular opinions. Oceans of spilled ink and electronic text seemed to cover the pros and cons well enough. No need for me to add my opinion.

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Spiritual Strategies in the Pagan Tsunami

Christian parents everywhere are facing the dilemma of raising their families in the midst of a tsunami of cultural corruption—and extremely invasive corruption it is! We sense the dangers but so often do not know what to do about it. We know that our children are especially vulnerable to the spirit of the times, and that the older they get the more they must live with one foot in the family and one foot in the world around them. As they move outward from the foundation of the family into the wider community, which is a necessary stage in the process of maturing, they will need wisdom and grace in a way different than any other generation before them.

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Historical Imagination and the Renewal of Culture

On some summer nights I like to take my children up the hill behind our house. We live far out in the country and no lights from other houses can be seen. The sky is like black glass reflecting nothing, but dazzling with billions of stars and planets. At the crest of the hill we lie in the grass. It takes a little time but we eventually grow quiet and still. The children lie on my chest or snuggle under my arm and look up. We gaze up, up into the infinite pool which bears the stars into being. Above us, on especially clear nights, with the aid of a low power telescope we can locate a tiny smudge of light which is the closest galaxy. It is spinning, spinning, but it is so far away that one could look for a whole lifetime and not see it alter. There are other galaxies out there, I tell my children, that whirl into each other like discs blending in space without colliding. They pass through each other, those billions of worlds, at thousands of miles per second, yet they do not appear to move at all. The children can just barely believe it, but they do believe it because I am their father and they trust me.

“The universe is deep,” I tell them. “You can look into it forever.”

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