Blast off into deep space and deep philosophy with the apologetic of the future in The Truth is Out There!
Two friends and colleagues, the thoughtful Brendan and the impulsive Erc, make their usual trip as interplanetary couriers, but this time the trip isn't going like they're used to. Brendan has begun to think about the question, "Why are we here?" and the discussions he has as a result send him and Erc to places they've never been before - places of the mind and spirit, not of the physical galaxy. Against the backdrop of a dynamic and engaging graphic novel, the author Amadeus (pen name for a Marionite monk) presents an argument for Christian belief that will look familar to those who have read the great Catholic writers such as the Patristics, Augustine, Aquinas and Newman, but looks new and fresh for a young audience. From the existence of a human soul, Brendan hears arguments for the existence of God, the validity of Revealation, and ultimately the personal response to Christ's invitation to follow him. Clear, compelling and comprehensive in its writing; bold, evocative and just plain fun in its design, this resource will jump out at certain students, and be easily recognized in its themes and style by all students.
In fact, the presentation of the curious questioner, the wise informer, and the obstinate resistor in a three-way dialogue working through profound questions of philosophy is a Classic strategy found from Ancient to Renaissance writers. This just has lasers, too.
This resource considers the evidence for and nature of an eternal soul, along with its moral ramifications. It also considers the evidence for and nature of God. It does not spend much time on the nature of the afterlife.
Wanna talk about what it means to be a disciple of Christ?
The protagonist of the story goes from first questions to being faced with the choice of Baptism; in his journey, the students can see their own steps in considering what difference following Christ could make.
Wanna talk about morality?
The character Erc, who lives for momentary pleasure, offers a humourous and non-threatening foil illustrating the neglect of spiritual questioning and its impact on life.
Wanna talk about religion?
The question of the necessity of a believing community is addressed, as well as the authority of the Catholic Church.
Wanna talk about... talking it out?
At its heart, this resource is a sustained dialogue between reasonable people. While the "opponents" are constructed in ways which reveal their weakness, the use of this resource can become a visible way in which conversation about philosophical differences can be effective and rewarding.
Within its own framework, it holds together very well; to a student formed in a different intellectual culture, however, the substance and significance of the ideas make take longer to grasp, and may not address all questions the student may have. While the resource takes a confident tone in its persuasion, it is still advisable to present it from a critical perspective, that is, for students to consider which points are strong or weak in the resource. Intentionally considering it from a First Nations, non-Christian or secular perspective would likely be very beneficial.
Having several copies on hand in class for students who love to argue or love to draw would be the best and most likely use of this resource.
Primarily, the study of graphic novels in English Language Arts provides a newer medium for narrative and persuasion. The historical development of philosophy could be a secondary integration with History classes, while theory of mind and cosmological arguments could be a tertiary integration with the Sciences.
If only all curricula were presented in such an engaging way!
El Cajon, CA