This is an encore presentation of a fantastic May 2014 episode by the same name. In it, philosopher-theologian Adam Miller and narrative studies specialist Stephen Carter join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon to explore the many and varied ways we live within, think from, are shaped by, and are both aided and hindered by “stories.” The depth at which our lives are impacted by narratives—about what the world is like, about ourselves, our lives, our hopes and deepest desires, about God or the universe’s biggest forces—is staggering. Plus, and here is where it gets interesting, messy, and sometimes frightening: our stories change. Sometimes we fight these changes, trying to pigeon-hole into pre-packaged worldviews and narratives everything that life in all its complexity is attempting to show us. When we do so, we fail to live fully, to be vital. Sometimes Mormonism, if we give into certain cultural forces, seems to distract us from seeing this failure, from realizing our stagnation. But does it also have elements that focus our attention directly to the importance of living out of big stories that are intended to always yield to even richer vistas and more profound embodiments?
We cannot escape stories. They provide many of the fundamental lenses through which we see and function in the world. But can we break free from the negative aspects of these narratives? Can we, and how do we, develop a love for the life-giving dynamic of letting life constantly call into question our stories and exploring our way into new ones? The participants in this conversation believe we can, and they share their experiences with “living” stories—Mormon ones, and others.
This is a wonderful episode that will give you a lot to think about!n Please listen and share your thoughts in the comments section below!