Storytelling: Sacred, Profane & Secular in Our Post-Modern World

Details to be posted soon.  I will notify you when the first seminar is posted online later this summer.

What We Explore:

Video 1 - Storytelling is about the interaction between Heaven and Earth, the Eternal and the Timely, the Sacred and the Profane.  Holding these opposites together in narratives is how the tellers and listeners discover authenticity and meaning in their lives.  The great religious traditions of the West and the East, as well as the indigenous religions of tribal peoples, are rooted in this interplay between the Sacred and the Profane.

Video 2 - The challenge of our time is emergence of a secular worldview which excludes both the sacred and the profane.  Rooted in the 18th-century Englightenment, Secularism has morphed into Post-Modernism today.  Stories become a different kind of narrative, increaingly devoid of transcendent values and meaning.  Rather than nourish the soul, post-modern narratives leave us bewildered and rootless, with an ever deepening sense of depression and alienation.  

Video 3 - Storytelling has three key functions:  it Entertains, it Teaches, and it Transforms us.  But these stages must be experienced in that very sequence, beginning with entertainment and ending with transformation. How sacred and profane stories fulfill all three functions.  And why secular narratives cannot move beyond entertainment and teaching.

Video 4 - Actual or virtual entertainment? Teaching or propagandizing?  Transforming or conforming?  The reality of the narrative arts in the post-modern world of the 21st-century.  How to tell our stories both critically and compassionately — with both grace and integrity -- in the culturally compromised milieu of our contemporary world.

Video 5 - The "test case" for this video series is  Christian storytelling traditions in a secular post-modern world.  Howver, this analysis is valid for Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu, and other spiritual traditions.  As a Catholic Christian myself, and as a former professor of comparative religions, I am atuned and sympathetic to the challenges Sacred and Profane storytelling traditions face in the global arena today.

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