#God & #Dragons…God loves monsters…..YAYYYYYY

https://medium.com/@theboyonthebike/god-loves-monsters-4f727db3d046

Beautiful Theology over at theboyonthebike

“The monster was not a threat to God. And while Job had become a threat to his friends, he wasn’t a threat to God either. The creature that the world called “monster,” God called “friend.” The beautiful part then is that the people the world calls “monster” (because their appearance, their story, their otherness feels monstrous to those around them) are the ones that God calls friend. All the things that made Leviathan so frightening to everyone else were what made Leviathan delightful to God. God celebrated all the wild things about Leviathan that made everyone else recoil in horror.”

“In fact, in an especially strange turn of the poem, in some translations God not only celebrates Leviathan — but identifies with Leviathan. Watch how God seems to casually move between how people respond to Leviathan and how they actually respond to Him in Job 41.9–11:”

Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales

“Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of the monster. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of the monster. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear. When I was a child I have stared at the darkness until the whole black bulk of it turned into one black giant taller than heaven. If there was one star in the sky it only made him a Cyclops. But fairy tales restored my mental health, for next day I read an authentic account of how a black giant with one eye, of quite equal dimensions, had been baffled by a little boy like myself (of similar inexperience and even lower social status) by means of a sword, some bad riddles, and a brave heart.” Chesterton

 

For more awesomeness see Neil Gaiman on the subject!  In an article that agrees with the general principle of my blog http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2013/08/13/3824385.html 

The Thing about Fairy Tales Is: Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever Afters and Meta

Ingredients of A Fairy Tale=

1 Upon a Time

4 or 5 Stereotypes

3 or 4 Stock Characters

1 simple plot

Good versus Evil

True Love Manifested (depressingly or not)

and possibly ending with Happily Ever After

Told and Retold, Reshaped and Reworked: I LOVE reading all of the versions of fairy tales!

But the thing about fairy tales is that that they are a collection of data on the human race. The more versions you read, the more insight you build about the human race, and the more you allow the stories to interact, the more you start to understand who we are, and how we work!

That’s what is amazing about fairy tales–the more they are stock the more true they are, the more versions exist, the more the human condition is explained…That is what is SO META about fairy tales!!!

Books that are not as well known(ish) but loved by me

Like Tamora Pierce, Kristen Cashore, Robin McKinley, Patricia C. Wrede, J. K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Peter S. Beagle, George McDonald, The Ordinary Princess, The Princess Bride, The Hobbit, Neverending Story, Serephina, Eona, etc. (for my traditional list see my ultimate fairy tale list)

Susan B. Dexter: Warhorse of Esdragon and Winter King’s Wars
Warhorse of Esdragon: heroes who find a magic horse that empowers them to be better! Winter King’s Wars: Reluctant Hero, falls in love, saves the world

Of Two Minds (Point Fantasy)Of Two Minds & More Minds by Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman: Prince who only lives in his mind, Princess who can make her imagination real, an arranged marriage, what’s not to love!

The Great Good Thing by Roderick Townley: Sylvia is stuck in her story, and wants it to change. (SuperWhy for adults??)

Nobody’s Son by Sean Stewart: Young Man follows a fairy tale to marry a princess and discover how love defines you

Dave Duncan: A Tale of King’s Blades (The Gilded Chain, Lord of the Fire Lands, Sky of Swords, Paragon Lost, Impossible Odds, The Jaguar Knights): Parallel Worlds, Alternative Endings, all in a world of Three Musketeer + Magic…

The Seer and the SwordThe Seer & the Sword & The Healer’s Keep by Victoria Hanley: Landen is defeated by his enemy and vows revenge, but the princess is nice + secretly she’s a seer….

Claidi Journals (quartet) by Tanith Lee: Claidi finds a journal and starts an adventure outside her protected world

Wren (quartet): Sherwood Smith: Her best character, this magic girl saves the entire kingdom with her magic

To read about how I read fantasy theologically look at my post on the popular fantasy or my analysis of the best fairy tale ever Beauty and the Beast

Shannon A Thompson

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