The Western Church seems to be content with thriving on poor art and second rate propaganda--if you don't believe me listen to K-Love or go see any of the "God Is Not Dead" films. The Eastern Orthodox Church, on the other hand, is concerned about honoring God through the creation and dissemination of great art and literature, making Doxacon a perfect fit.
November 6th & 7th, 2020
A Virtual Conference
Every year in November a unique and interesting conference occurs near Washington, D.C. This year though the conference happened on-line due to the restrictions of the Covid 19 pandemic. I am talking about the Doxacon Faith & Fandom Conference which is a fantasy, science fiction gathering coming from the viewpoint of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Does that seem like an odd combination? To me, though, it makes perfect sense.
The Western Church seems to be content with thriving on poor art and second rate propaganda--if you don't believe me listen to K-Love or go see any of the "God Is Not Dead" films. The Eastern Orthodox Church, on the other hand, is concerned about honoring God through the creation and dissemination of great art and literature. Two perfect examples are the current "Raven Son" series of novels by Russian Deacon Nicholas Kotar or the Amon Sul podcast series by Father Andrew Stephen Damick. These are but two of the many perfect examples.
Friday morning began with a time of prayer called "Akathist: Glory To God For All Things." This was followed by the first two presentations, Zachary Porcu spoke on "The Discerning Consumer: Loving Media Without Losing Your Soul" and Patrick R. Callahan on "Light In The City: Technology, Freedom & Suffering In Mega Man." Each lecture ran about 30 minutes and was followed by breakout discussions on the topics covered in the lectures. After the breakout discussions came a lunch break followed by 4 hours of gaming time. At 6pm was the clergy keynote by Father Andrew Stephen Damick speaking on "Exodus and Escape In the Fantastic: Pandemonium, Pandemic And Promised Land." These were followed by another series of breakout discussions closing out the first day.
Day two began with the Lay Keynote Speaker Ellen Elliot talking on the subject of "Bring Out Your Undead; Lessons In Faith From Zombie Apocalypse Films." The films discussed ranged from the classic White Zombie to the more recent World War Z. Even though there was no mention of my favorite one, I Walked With A Zombie, from the mid '40's it was a great talk none the less. A breakout followed by a lunch break.
Saturday afternoon began with two lectures: Cindy Collins Smith on "Barefaced and Brightfaced: Pestilence and Theophany in Till We Have Faces," the novel by CS Lewis. This was followed by Rachael Grabowski on "The Banality Of Goodness-Problems With Portraying Heaven In Film And The Possibility of Reading Road Warriors As Saints." After the breakout discussions on these topics we entered into a Vespers service. The final lectures of the evening were Jonathan Jacobson on "Facing Judgement And Choosing Life: The Eschatology Of Star Trek: Picard" and Edmund Lazzari on "The Artifice of Escape: Chesterton And Star Wars On Hope". These of course were followed by breakout discussions and a final round of gaming.
If you are a Sci-Fi or fantasy fan I would highly suggest that you check out the conference next year. It was fantastic!!!
Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock
10 tocks, 5 per day.