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Thursday, 19 May 2011

The challenge of teenage philosphy students...



Ok, so I need some help, or advice. In a  few weeks I am going to a local schools CU to speak. The age range will be 14-18 I think. I have to chose a clip from a film or TV and then speak about it relating it to faith somehow. I'm slightly nervous as half of them are philosophy students and frankly I have no idea what compartment to put them in, in my brain!

So anyway,  I think I'm going to look at 'Glee' which my own teenage daughter is rather obsessed with... Some weeks back there was a plot line where one of the students saw the face of Jesus in his grilled cheese and then ended up praying to this 'grilled cheese-us' for completely inappropriate, but hilarious, things like getting it on with his girlfriend...  I think this might be a good programme as it seems to be de-rigeur viewing for lots of teens, it's contemporary and the episode looks at lots of aspects of spirituality, in a kind of teenage way... but I'm worried this might be a bit too basic, especially for the older ones. I'm always amazed how much my kids can understand, particularly in terms of Christianity, so I don't want to 'dumb it down', but at the same time I need to reach them all at a time which is usually down time for  them (lunchbreak) and the last thing they need is a theology lesson...
Thoughts anyone?

5 comments:

Alan Crawley said...

Do you know where they are coming from? Many CUs are theologically conservative, and as you say quite theologically literate. Knowing the answer to that might help as a starter for 10!

Rosemary said...

I think this is an excellent idea. It might be interesting to see what questions this brings up for them or what assertions they want to make about it.
As a Christian, it does challenge us to consider what prayer is from a scriptural/theological standpoint as opposed to a spiritual and/or emotional practice alone. Why do we pray? Not the Sunday School answer but really--why does God want us to pray? What is inappropriate to ask God for in prayer or is there anything out of bounds for God? [psalms, of course, could help]
Another tactic might be to approach it from the angle of 'visions'. Are there such things? Do people see Jesus in a potato chip or grilled cheese sandwich? What about faithful people in the past who have claimed they've seen visions in more 'traditional' ways that do not involve food?
For me, personally, this episode brought up the question [yet again]: does God somehow or another use our messed up way of seeing him in the world for good? Is there good that can come from things like this, or perhaps failed predictions of the end of the world, for something that in the end points us to him?

I love your blog, by the way! :)

Rosemary said...

Oh! I thought of two more! [sorry!]
How does God us Kirt, an athiest, for good in the story in spite of his lack of faith? Does God do this in the real world? [OT is full of examples]
The final song:What if God Was One of Us. There's tons of interesting stuff in that, too :)

Red said...

thanks guys :) Alan no, I have no idea where they are coming from!! Private School, with chapel so I guess fairly traditional/anglo-catholic would be my guess, but then they might not be getting that appraoch at home...
Rosemary, Hiya, thanks for commenting. Really helpful too, like the idea of 'what is prayer', might look into that alongside.. off to check out your blog now!
redx

Rosemary said...

Hi Red--thanks for responding and thanks for checking out my blog too :)