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athena’s web the journal of the college of arts and sciences

Spring/Summer 2016


NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY: Athens State University, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Athens State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, genetic information, or veteran status in employment or admissions to, or participation in educational programs or activities.


athena’s web

journal of the college of arts and sciences EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Dr. Bebe Gish Shaw

EDITOR

Jennifer Bravo EDITOR

Jensie Britt ASSISTANT EDITOR

Brittany Aldridge


Athena’s Web is an academic journal dedicated to publishing outstanding student work in the arts and sciences. The journal is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences of Athens State University. Arts and Sciences students (including secondary education majors) are encouraged to submit academic and creative work to the editors for consideration. Views and creative content are reflective only of our contributors. Athens State University and the College of Arts and Sciences bear no responsibility for the content of authors’ works. Athena's Web does not hold any rights of works published in the journal. All rights revert to the author or artist upon publication. However, Athena's Web should be listed as a previous publisher if any works are republished.

····················································································· Cover page art by Kaylee Lewis. Masthead art by Tracy Szappan. Typeface is Garamond. Archives of all issues can be found on the appropriate page of the journal's website. The website also contains the submission guidelines, submission procedures, and information on all contests or events sponsored by the journal. Athena's Web is published once per semester, excluding Summer. Submission deadlines for each semester can be found on the homepage of the journal's website. While primarily an online publication, print copies of the journal can be ordered through the Editor's office. Athena's Web is a free and open publication. As such, we do not charge for copies of the journal, but a small printing fee will be charged by the Office of Printing at Athens State University which must be paid upon order.

The Editors Founders Hall Room 350 300 N. Beaty Street Athens, AL 35611 Athenas.Web@athens.edu


athena’s web

volume 4.1

Spring/Summer 2016

art Can You Welcome a Leopard The Story of Light and Flight Amongst a World of Catfish... Lazy Grazer Life In Bloom Song of My Soul Blue Ridge Branches Ablaze Snow-Capped Bird of Prey

Sarah Abney Sarah Abney Sarah Abney Jennifer Bravo Jennifer Bravo Jennifer Bravo Jensie Britt Brittany Aldridge Brittany Aldridge Kaylee Lewis

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17

Bethany Boydstun Brittany Aldridge Jeffrey Johns Bethany Boydstun Jennifer Bravo Mary Toro Bethany Boydstun Jennifer Bravo

19 21 23 25 27 29 30 33

Brittany Aldridge

35

Gage Craig

39

Brittany Aldridge

43

Jennifer Bravo

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poetry Sankofa Spoke Brave Founders Hall A Survivor Dearly Beloved Dulce et Decorum Est? 2017 My Siren Song Steps

academic essays

Existentialism and Social Reconstructionism: A Pedagogical Perspective “Had We But World Enough and Time” A Deconstruction of Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” From the Outside In: The Rise of Method Acting The Kingdom of God in Four Parables


News and Announcements Now Accepting Submissions Submissions are currently open for the Fall 2016 issue and will be accepted through the Friday before finals. Submissions received after the deadline will be considered for the following semester’s issue. Athena’s Web welcomes a wide range of submissions including research and analysis papers, case studies, short stories, essays, poems, photographs and photo essays, artwork, novel excerpts, short plays, and more. Cover Contest Athena’s Web hosts a cover design contest each semester. Winners are chosen from the pool of artwork submissions received that semester. The winning artist will be credited on the Information page and will be listed as a contributor. Facebook Athena’s Web is now on Facebook. Be sure to follow our page for updates and information! www.facebook.com/athenaswebjournal Special Thanks Athena’s Web would like to thank Dr. Hugh Long for recommending the most academic work for publication in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue. His efforts and continued support are greatly appreciated!


Can You Welcome a Leopard

Sarah Abney


The Story of Light and Flight

Sarah Abney


Amongst a World of Catfish...

Sarah Abney


Lazy Grazer

Jennifer Bravo


Life in Bloom

Jennifer Bravo


Winged Soul

Jennifer Bravo


Blue Ridge

Jensie Britt


Branches Ablaze

Brittany Aldridge


Snow–capped

Brittany Aldridge


Bird of Prey

Kaylee Lewis


Bethany Boydstun

Sankofa Spoke


Bethany Boydstun

Sankofa Spoke

In response to the Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels: Forward! Step forward around this room. Look upon the historic pieces laid strewn. “Look to the past” is echoed from the start A carved crane and egg of sankofa imparts An importance of heritage, but not only that Never forget. Look back. Remember this past.

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Brittany Aldridge

Brave


Brittany Aldridge

Brave to be Brave is no small thing; no trivial undertaking— to feel its sting. to be brave negates excuses; it whispers boldly. yet… fear confuses and attempts to dull the senses of this soul that would otherwise control the whole of my Own Self. fear is a substance consisting of shadows and smoke screens and waters so shallow, yet my heart drowns in the suspicion that fear is more than an unfounded apparition— acting as a vice that holds my mind in muted chaos— a grip grasping, blindly choking hope. But I say to fear: You Make Me Brave. Come in your torrent. Come with your thunder. You will bear no lightening. Your substance, plundered. The bastard child of logic-I will see you for what you are. My senses are not slaves. My hopes know Who They Are: I. Am. Brave.

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Jeffrey Johns

Founders Hall


Jeffrey Johns

Founders Hall

The crème white columns, dampened by the rain They stand in defiance of Newton’s pull These portico guards, Stratiotis deign To grant all passage, they will stand and mull. Their brethren once held Athenian sway Democracy’s birth and Socrates’s word Sylvan stanchions remembering the day Sophists of vision spoke, rapt students heard. Millennia pass, the great march of time Hurriedly moves past our wonderment’s eye Classical intellect, began the line Though fettered it runs, refuses to die. Founders Hall, a sleepy southern campus Homeric pillars watching over us.

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Bethany Boydstun

A Survivor


Bethany Boydstun

A Survivor

Romeo and fair Juliet doth lie! Oh! What a bloody mess this tie. Sad tales tell of mournful sorrow. Aye! Two graves dug on the morrow. Life is precious. Lust can fade. Invest in oneself until one’s made Never dependent. Keeping in mind To endure as the wise, true Rosaline.

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Jennifer Bravo

Dearly Beloved


Jennifer Bravo

Dearly Beloved

Dearly beloved, I am gathered here today. Alone. To argue fault - mine or your own. I argue with you, but you’re not home, so I berate these inept walls that couldn’t keep you. Is the fault mine or was it yours? Did I leave you to travel the ... path alone or are you to blame for leaving me behind? I cannot help but think you’re in a much happier place than I, and therefore better off. For that I cannot help but feel cheated. But you suffered so long preflight, I can’t blame you for leaving. No I can’t blame you for leaving. I can’t blame you. I work. I sit. I sleep. A little. I eat. Not very much. I live. Though not at all. Without you. You - who I can’t blame for leaving. I can’t blame you. I can’t.

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v

Mary Toro

Dulce et Decorum Est? 2017


Mary Toro

Dulce et Decorum Est? 2017

My take on Wilfred Owen’s Dulce et decorum est was published in Athena’s Web in the Spring 2014 issue. This week there was discussion about female Marines serving on the front lines in battle beginning in 2017. That idea made me take a new look at my poem and rework it. Dulce et Decorum Est? 2017 after Wilfred Owen In that instant, with a last, ragged gasp, as her life seeps out into the desert sand, will she see the folded flag, dress uniforms, and salutes, or tears replacing smiles on the faces she shall never see again? Will her arms ache to embrace her rifle, or her love? Beneath the clamor, screams, and moans will she hear an anthem, or “I love you” softly whispered in her ear? Will her heart ache with sorrow for the mission, or their mourning, the lifetime of dreams spilling out and gone? As she exhales her spirit to the universe will she cherish her equality, and find her death sweet? fitting?

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Bethany Boydstun

My Siren Song Fantasy is an escape of a dangerous kind. It can be healthy when moderately confined. Do not be deceived when it contorts your mind It becomes an obsession and you begin to pine. Desires grow. This want becomes a lust. Nothing satisfies. This, you are earnest. For even a fantasy can leave you wholly smitten One smile and one touch leaves you eternally bitten. Let me tell you of an encounter with my mind’s creature She came to life…if only I did capture her! Not human but a mystifying, horrid beast, Eerily cunning, her tail should worry you the least. Skin, smooth as cream and unspeakably flawless. Pure perfection is the ideal weapon of her prowess. With eyes like crystal and the light redefining the colors around vibrant pupils shining. Long luscious locks like Egyptian linens,

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Bethany Boydstun

My Siren Song Twirling and dancing, underwater it glistens. She is ever hunting and always on the prowl Will her wiles go as far as to disembowel? A man chosen in the twilight of the evening Her smile satisfied and wickedly gleaming. The waves furious and white tipped! An angry ocean! Man knows, not, it is for his life, all this commotion. Red lips come alive, flattering with words of delight Carefully, curiosity consumes the black and dark night. Suddenly silence surrounds her seductive songs Enticing a man to feel underwater he belongs After her straightway as an ox to the slaughter If only somehow, someone could have stopped her! Hearken unto me! For truth is riddled throughout myth, It matters not if your temptation is a man or sea-witch. Restrain your heart from descending among a level so low

Put not your desires in a smiling face in the dark of a ghetto The darkness bestows beauty on the undesirable Lotions furnish the sickly as kissable. Wax-fill your ears to the siren’s song! Refuse a glance, even one a sidelong! She has diseased many men. Many great men have been slain by her. She lives the path to hell,

going

Yes. My fantasy became

my life and I was hell bound

That creature was myself.

For that I am not proud.

Take heed of these truths

spoken from experience.

I would be dead and burning

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down to death’s bedchamber.

if not for Providence.

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Jennifer Bravo

Steps


Jennifer Bravo

Steps

Looking around, I saw safe and something else: boredom or existence? Is that redundant? Looking up, all I could see were Steps. few next the one. Sometimes not more than half. Others, only A voice said, “keep moving.” Gave me no choice. The air clearedxcondensed in no in tel ligi b le p at t ern I m er e ly kepton mo vin g, as if stagnation would eternally stick me in a momentary space. Pleasant? Not usually. Rewarding? Most of the time… no, again. Peaceful? There were hours minutes maybe. days Only when looking down did I see how high I’d climbed how low I’d been at the start Life? Indubitably. Worth it? I cannot help but concur.

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Existentialism and Social Reconstructionism: A Pedagogical Perspective

Brittany Aldridge


Existentialism & Social Reconstruct

Brittany Aldridge Abstract This paper will address the pedagogical practices of Social Reconstructionism and Existentialism. The two main concerns addressed by the educator in Social Reconstructionism and Existentialism philosophies are the intellectual growth of each student and the effects of schooling on society. Social Reconstructionist theory takes Existentialist ideals a step further by providing an educational framework for the context of the individual in a social setting. Because education is an organic process, the ultimate goal is to create an environment of freedom for each student so that he or she can arrive at his or her own conclusions in a chaotic, irrational world. A teacher’s main goal in Existentialist and Social Reconstructionist methodologies is to liberate and free the mind. Therefore, it is essential for the educator to equip the student with the right questions that foster independent thought. The curriculum should expose this. An essential type of analysis for this process is the transformative tradition of pedagogy, which allows for the student to be transformed in a meaningful way. The “I-Thou” dialogue makes the student step “inside” initially, then step “out” to connect with their context in society. This method allows the students to expand upon their own potential in a personal, as well as social, context.   Existentialism and Social Reconstructionism: A Pedagogical Perspective Introduction No one teaching philosophy has the monopoly on progress and innovation. Each perspective has its merits, drawing from the individual experiences and beliefs of established teaching practitioners. These beliefs are what determine the pedagogical practices that shape up-and-coming citizens of the United States. A good teaching philosophy looks beyond the four walls of a classroom and determines the areas in society that can be changed for the better. The educator must unpack the needs of society by addressing each student on the individual level. A student must be seen as the navigator of his or her own development, and the teacher is merely a guide to that end. A student is in control of no one but himself or herself. Therefore, the extent of the educational process

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should empower the individual to take charge of his or her own educational experience. Social Reconstructionist and Existentialist educational philosophies best address the ongoing need in the US for empowering, individual-based pedagogy that transforms communities. Purpose of Schooling Social Reconstructionism and Existentialism explore the intrinsic purpose of schooling through the experiences of each individual participant. The two main concerns addressed by the educator in these two philosophies are the intellectual growth of each student and the effects of schooling on society. Existentialist teaching philosophy argues that one must first understand that there is no understanding apart from the individual. In other words, without a sense of self that is anchored in knowledge through empowerment, one’s reality is essentially chaos. Existentialists argue that the purpose of schooling is to have a continual “conversation” with one’s surroundings (Jons, 2014, p. 490). It is through this internal dialogue that students, as well as teachers, fulfill the purpose of schooling. Social Reconstructionist theory takes Existentialist ideals a step further by providing an educational framework for the context of the individual in a social setting. Though providing curriculum and engaging in a specific direction, the Social Reconstructionist suggests that the purpose of schooling is not only to engage in internal dialogue with one’s surroundings, but also to provide a vehicle to influence the society in which a student resides. Such thinkers as John Dewey, George Counts, and Theodore Brameld all postulated such notions. Dewey, specifically, felt that ideas were in direct correlation with social conditions (Sadvonik, 2013, p. 187-188). It is this kind of ebb and flow of personal experience that creates purpose in the activity of schooling. Goal of Education One should not divorce education from the practicality of personal freedom and experience. As Counts aptly says in The Social Foundations of Education, “Education ... conceived solely as method points nowhere and can arrive nowhere. It is a disembodied spirit” and “it is not education” (Counts, 1934, p. 534).

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Existentialism & Social Reconstruct

Therefore, education must be seen as organic. The goal of which, according to Existentialist educational ideals, is to create an environment of freedom for each student so that he or she can arrive at his or her own conclusions in a chaotic, irrational world. Education equips the individual to better address the absurdities of his or her surroundings and engage in understanding (Sadvonik, 2013, p. 191). By engaging in understanding through embracing the nonsensical nature of one’s surroundings, the student is then able to become powerful in their respective environments. Engaging in understanding, however, is only a part of a whole. Social Reconstructionists view the goal of education as not only to engage in understanding but also to take action. This action is typically two-fold: the act of changing one’s self and the act of changing society for the better. Change for the sake of change is not enough—one must enlist intentionality in his or her perception of morality, and act accordingly. The goal of education is to strengthen and ignite the possibilities and potentialities of the individual in order to produce social change. The Role of the Teacher The act of teaching is intensely personal due to the nature of introspection in articulating lessons. Existentialist thought regards the role of the teacher as more personal than professional, an act of conviction more than an act of obligation. The teacher’s personal understanding of his or her “lived in” world equips them to facilitate understanding in their students. This begs deep introspection and openness on the part of the educator, which many find to be uncomfortable and unnecessary in education. However, Maxine Greene argues that an educator’s ability to be “wide awake” works in tandem with the effectiveness of pedagogy (Greene, 2000, p. 270). Essentially, the teacher offers the student questions of theory and takes great care to defer to the choice of the individual when evaluating truth (Vandenberg, 2009, p. 785). Existentialist pedagogy requires a more personal slant from the individual students, as well as the teachers, when considering the engagement of truth in the classroom. In Social Reconstructionist practices, educators allow the student to feel and understand the social

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impact and responsibility of the individual, and “…encourage and educate (them) to be critical-thinkers, with a strong intellectual voice” (Zorn, 2001, p. 69). This type of critical thinking liberates the individual from a chaotic world. Because a teacher’s main goal in Existentialist and Social Reconstructionist methodologies is to liberate and free the mind, it is essential for the educator to equip the student with the right questions that foster independent thought. These questions are posed with limitless potential in mind, treating education as an experience as opposed to an examination. By treating education as an experience, the role of the teacher evolves into a deeply personal practice. Through the personal explorations of the learning process, the teacher is both transformed and equipped. For instance, in “Viva la Revolucion: Transforming Teaching and Assessing Student Writing through Collaborative Inquiry,” two seventh grade teachers wanted to create better assessments for analyzing their students’ writing. What began as a strictly pedagogical venture quickly became a transformative act, which produced what Giroux would call “transformative intellectuals” (Sadvonik, 2013, p.194). They found that through collaborative efforts they were able to realize the significance of personal inquiry into long-standing personal pedagogical acts, (Fanning and Schmidt, 2007, p. 29-35). Through the reevaluation of personal perspectives, educators create an opportunity for personal growth as well as collective growth in the classroom. The Nature of Curriculum Both Social Reconstructionists and Existentialists emphasize the arts, drama, and literature. They also view curriculum as “socially constructed” (Sadvonik, 2013, p. 194), and should therefore be questioned. The curriculum should expose the students to options outside of their realm of personal experience. An essential type of analysis is the transformative tradition of pedagogy, which allows for the student to be transformed in a meaningful way. It also addresses the issue of tying theory to practice. Because the educational process is more than just the transference of information, but also of ideas, transformative curriculum establishes the teacher and the student as co-learners. The exchange of ideas, theories, and information makes the learning

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experience both holistic and experimental. The curriculum is explored through critical pedagogy. Critical pedagogy, according to Social Reconstructionists, takes the social ramifications of education and emphasizes the responsibility of each student to make a difference in their spheres of influence. In other words, one cannot separate society and education. However, critical pedagogy has a tendency to become one-sided and theory driven (MacArthur, 2010, p. 495). Therefore, it is essential for the educator to teach the curriculum in the context of practical application. The Method of Instruction One method of instruction that encompasses both Social Reconstructionist and Existenitlaist theories is called theorizing. “Theorizing,” according to van Manen (1990), is the “intentional act of attaching ourselves to the world, to become more fully part of it, or better, to become the world” (p. 152). Taking on the personal nature of pedagogy, theorizing then becomes narrative theorizing, which is “an intentional process of questioning and interrogating the nature of narrative inquiry that may undermine its potentials” (Kim, 2008, p.251). Narrative theorizing attempts to seek out the possibilities that lead to narrative research. Narrative research allows the student to fully engage with multicultural ideas. This engagement results in a well-rounded acceptance or rejection of societal norms. Another method of instruction is the “I-Thou” dialogue by Martin Buber. This approach teaches the student a sense of caring and mutual respect in a social context by posing questions, generating activities, and working together for solutions. The activities can look like anything from word study analysis in a group setting, or arranging a project for discussing multi-cultural narratives with written responses. The “I-Thou” dialogue makes the student step “inside” initially, then step “out” to connect with their context in society (Sadvonik, 2010, p. 191). This method allows the students to expand upon their own potential in a personal, as well as social, context. Conclusion Incorporating Existentialist and Social Reconstructionist ideologies into educational pedagogy creates an opportunity for the student to become a

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well-rounded person. This type of engagement reaches a crescendo in the evolution of society. Students and teachers must both engage simultaneously in the learning process by becoming co-learners, and this partnership results in cohesive educational pedagogy.

References Counts, G. S. (1934). The social foundations of education. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 534. Fanning, M. & Schimdt, B. (2007). Viva la Revolucion: Transforming Teaching and Assessing Student Writing through Collaborative Inquiry. English Journal, 97(2), 29-35. Greene, M. (2000). Imagining futures: the public school and possibility. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 32(2), 267280. Doi:10.1080/002202700182754 Jons, L. (2014). Learning as Calling and Responding. Studies in Philosophy and Education. 33(5), 481-493. Doi:10.1007/s11217-013-9398-8 Kim, Jeong-Hee. (2008). A Romance With Narrative Inquiry: Toward an Act of Narrative Theorizing. Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue , 10(2) 251-267,304. McArthur, J. (2010). Achieving social justice within and through higher education: the challenge for critical pedagogy. Teaching in Higher Education, 15(5), 493-504. Doi:10.1080/13562517.2010.491906 Sadvonik, A.R., Cookson, P.W., Semel, S.F. (2013). Exploring Education: An introduction to the foundations of education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Vandenberg, D. (2009). Thinking about Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 41(7), 784-787. Doi:10.1111/j.1469-5812.2009.00581.x van Manen, M. (1990). Beyond Assumptions: Shifting the Limits of Action Research. Theory Into Practice, 29(3), 152. Zorn, J. (2001). Henry Giroux’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Academic Questions, 14(4), 69.

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“Had We But World Enough and Time” A Deconstruction of Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress”

Gage Craig


Gage Craig

“Had We But World Enough”

Carpe Diem is a commonly used Latin phrase meaning “seize the day”; it is also a phrase used to describe Andrew Marvell’s poem “To His Coy Mistress.” Robert Halli describes the poem, in his essay “The Persuasion of the Coy Mistress,” as a “Carpe Diem, invitation to love” poem (Halli 57). In the poem Marvell’s speaker laments that “had we but world enough and time” his lady’s “coyness” would not be a problem (Marvell 775). Marvell’s speaker is convinced, in the poem, that there is not enough time for him to devote to his mistress but that they should instead “tear our pleasures with rough strife through the iron gates of life” (Marvell 775). This concept of Carpe Diem in the context of the poem is problematic, however, as Marvell’s assertion at the beginning (“had we but world enough and time”) is contradicted by the mere existence of the poem. The time that he longs for he instead uses to write the poem. In an essay titled “What is Deconstruction, and Where and When Does it Take Place? Making Facts in Science, Building Cases in Law” by Stephan Fuchs and Steven Ward, the writers state that the theory of Deconstruction “is a skepticist and anti-realist form of critiquing the activity of interpretation in literary, textual, and semiotic analysis” and that the point of it “is not to find the meaning of a text or system of signs, but to destabilize the very notion that there is such a thing as literal or ‘true’ meaning” (Fuchs 482). The writers go on to explain that tradition dictates that there are “certain objective facts, such as the author’s intentions or the text’s sociocultural location” that provide readers with “independent clues for correct interpretations” (Fuchs 482). According to Deconstruction these “facts” are not facts at all; even they are in need of interpretation. Since these “facts” which are pre-supposed as the basis for interpretation need interpretation themselves there can be no true meaning in a text; “there can always be as many legitimate understandings of a text as there can be different perspectives for understanding” (Fuchs 483). This theory works well with Marvell’s poem as it foregoes conventional logic and instead questions the basis for criticism, much like Marvell’s speaker foregoes conventional ideas of courting and instead asks his mistress to barrel through the “gates of life” with him on a

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whim. In his book Of Grammatology, considered one of the cornerstones of the theory of Deconstruction, Jacques Derrida writes, “For me there has never been an intermediary between everything and nothing” (Derrida 157). Derrida explains that a writer “writes in a language and in a logic whose proper systems, laws, and life his discourse by definition cannot dominate absolutely. He uses them only by letting himself, after a fashion and up to a point, be governed by the system” (Derrida 158). These excerpts illustrate that Marvell’s poem is incomplete as it can only describe what it would be like to “seize the day” rather than actually accomplishing the task. Derrida’s assertion that there is no “intermediary between everything and nothing” turns writing into a zero-sum game; the meaning is either there or it is not, and the limitation that language places on understanding ensures that true meaning can never truly be present as there are always different ways in which a text could be interpreted. Derrida later explains that it is impossible for a text to successfully find a “signified”; he describes this by writing, Yet if reading must not be content with doubling the text, it cannot legitimately transgress the text toward something other than it, toward a referent (a reality that is metaphysical, historical, psychobiographical, etc.) or toward a signified outside the text whose content could take place, could have taken place outside of language, that is to say, in the sense that we give here to that word, outside of writing in general. (Derrida 158) This excerpt lends itself to Derrida’s assertion that “there is nothing but the text” (Derrida 158). Fuchs and Ward further explain this idea by writing that “the real is brought into being only through inscription, that is, through images, language, and writing. In Deconstructionism , the text can no longer be compared with an external physical or social reality , because ‘beyond the text there are only more texts or traces of texts’”(Fuchs

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483). The act of texts pointing to texts in an infinite circle leads to a degradation of meaning within interpretation. Marvell explains in “To His Coy Mistress” the many ways in which he would admire his mistress if he were allowed the time:

qualities from the planets; and early in the formulation of such belief it was understood ‘ruby and carbuncle… are superior to other stones in virtue as the sun is superior to other planets in their splendor’” (Christian 33). Christian’s assumption that the selection of rubies was due to lapidary tradition clearly shows the strong tendency within literary criticism to ascribe “true meaning” to texts by drawing heavily from other texts rather than using the original texts themselves. The theory of Deconstruction makes it clear that readers cannot assume Marvell’s familiarity with lapidary tradition; because of this, Henry Christian’s reading of the text does not ascribe true meaning to the rubies within Marvell’s poem. A problem that exists in applying the theory of Deconstruction to Andrew Marvell’s poem, or any text, is that any critique utilizing Deconstruction can be deconstructed itself. Deconstruction relies on others ascribing meaning to texts, which is done by creating other texts, and by the end a third text is created; this circle further proves the idea that texts become oversaturated with “meaning” through different readings and thus muddying the pursuit of “true meaning.” Deconstruction reaches the conclusion that it is impossible to sift through all readings to find the true meaning behind any one reading, and instead lends legitimacy only to the original text itself. Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” is a beloved work with much scholarship behind it, but with much scholarship comes an easy target for Deconstruction; all of the essays regarding Marvell’s poem used in this paper rely heavily on other sources regarding his work. Halli’s assertion relies on the understanding of the Latin Carpe Diem as well as a familiarity with Ambrose Pare’s work regarding procreation, and Henry Christian’s essay assumes Marvell’s familiarity with lapidary tradition as well as a purposeful insertion of this tradition into the poem. Since none of these things are present within the text of Marvell’s poem it is impossible to give any of these ideas credence in regards to the meaning of the poem.

An hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast, But thirty thousand to the rest; An age at least to every part, And the last age should show your heart (Marvell 775) Robert Halli explains that Marvell uses these examples to convince his mistress to engage in sexual activity (Halli 57); through the lens of Deconstruction this assumption is incorrect. Derrida’s assertion “there is nothing but the text” means that the poem can only reference itself and can only be interpreted through itself, therefore it is impossible to reach the conclusion that Marvell’s speaker is attempting to convince the woman in the poem to sleep with him. Halli presents another reading of “To His Coy Mistress” by explaining that there was a strong pull towards procreation at the time of Marvell’s writing of his poem; he quotes Ambrose Pare’s book Of the Generation of Man: “God . . . not onely distinguished mankinde, but all other living creatures also, into a double sex, to wit, of male and female; that so they being moved and enticed by the allurements of lust, might desire copulation, thence to have procreation” (Halli 58). This reading of the text assumes that Marvell’s writing is aware of this disposition towards procreation, but the poem never mentions this proclivity and thus this reading is not valid through an analysis of the text. Another reading of “To His Coy Mistress” described by Henry Christian in his paper “Marvell’s Mistress’ Rubies” attempts to explain the significance of the rubies in the poem; “Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side/Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide/Of Humber would complain” (Marvell 775). Christian explains that Marvell’s selection of rubies is not simply because of the significance rubies hold in India but rather that “according to lapidary tradition, stones receive their

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Gage Craig

“Had We But World Enough”

  Works Cited Christian, Henry “Marvell’s Mistress’ Rubies”. Modern Language Studies 11.1 (1980): 33–37. Web. Derrida, Jacques. Of Grammatology. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. Print. Fuchs, Stephan, and Steven Ward. “What Is Deconstruction, and Where and When Does It Take Place? Making Facts in Science, Building Cases in Law”. American Sociological Review 59.4 (1994): 481–500. Web. Halli, Robert. “The Persuasion of the Coy Mistress”. Philological Quarterly 80.1 (2001): 57-70. Web. Marvell, Andrew. “To His Coy Mistress”. The Broadview Anthology of British Literature Volume 2: The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century. Ed. Joseph Black, Et Al. Broadview Press, 2010. 775. Web.

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From the Outside In: The Rise of Method Acting

Brittany Aldridge


Brittany Aldridge

The Rise of Method Acting

Abstract Method acting has become one of the popular methods actors use to perfect their skills. Key players in this system include Constantin Stanislavsky and Lee Strasberg, a student of Stanislavksy. Stanislavsky originated the “Stanislavsky Method,” which evolved into the “Method” style of acting. Elements of the “Stanislavsky Method” include character intent, emotion memory, and recreating the reality of the character being presented. This paper will explore the origination of this acting technique, its methodologies, and its effect on American and Soviet theatre.   From the Outside In: The Rise of Method Acting Introduction The essential function of acting is to give an imitation of life. Life looks different ways to different audiences and people groups. However, the human element always presents itself in some form—emotion and conflict, raw and pure. All of these ideas stem from the art of acting. Actors essentially beg of their respective audience: “Do you believe what you are seeing? Do you relate?” All artists must develop their skills through different pedagogical practices, typically learned through teaching practitioners. Perhaps the greatest contributor to the world of teaching acting was Constantin Stanislavsky when, in early 20th century Soviet Russia, he created the “Stanislavsky System” style of teaching acting. A student of his, Lee Strasburg, continued to develop this to form the “Method” for actors, giving it a formal brand in American theatre. Stanislavsky and the Soviet Theatre During the late 19th to early 20th century, the Soviet Theatre performed plays in a staunch, superfluous way. Many did not enjoy this type of glamorous and elaborate engagement with humanistic storylines. They felt a want of reality in the execution of the art form. As a young, up-and-coming director and actor, Constantin Stanislavsky felt this need to beg “more” from an actor’s stage performance. This was also the climate of Soviet Russia, as seen here: “Whilst Stanislavsky spent much of his energy trying to simplify the processes of acting and avoiding a (pseudo-) scientific terminology for his acting system, he was nevertheless caught up in Stalin's appro-

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priation of hard science after the Russian Revolution” (Piches 2005). This ideology brought about a systematic yet organic engagement with the art of acting on the part of Stanislavsky. His wife, Lilina, who was an actress, allowed him to perfect his need for better methodology in the development of true, pure acting skills through his development of her. Stanislavsky had much to say concerning her acting prowess and how best to improve it, as seen here: “From his point of view, she needed to develop something that he, Stanislavsky, had and what an actor could not stay without: the continuous self-analysis, the only tool with which an actor was equipped to improve oneself ” (Ignatieva 2005). Through disciplining his wife in this way, he developed and continued to perfect the Stanislavsky System of Method Acting. The “Stanislavsky System” The Stanislavsky System emphasizes the role psychology plays for the actor. Through analyzing character intent, emotion-memory, immersion through imagination, and recreating the reality in context of the character being portrayed, Stanislavsky felt that one could become the character from the outside, in. His system attempted to bring the reality of the actor/ character full-circle, as seen here: “This claim is the discovery of an external (physical/stage) equivalent for the most elusive internal (spiritual/psychic) experiences, its capture in acting technique, the ability to reproduce it. In other words, one might say that Stanislavski’s task was the materialisation of what is commonly called ‘the soul’” (Aronson 2003). The elements that comprise Stanislavsky’s system of method acting create an immersive reality for the actor, accounting for the internal stimulus manifested externally before an audience. He wanted to give not only motivation for the character, but, essentially, a “soul.” Character Intent In order to be fully submersed in the “soul” of the character being presented, Stanislavsky felt that an actor should know the ins and outs of the character. The Stanislavsky System attempted to accomplish this by capturing the inner motivations of the character through exploring the character’s intent. This should be

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superseded by the assumption that what happens in processing decisions in real-life must be processed accordingly on the stage as a system of analysis. According to Marowitz:

felt that to be true to the character, the inner workings of emotional ramifications must be understood in the realm of the actor and director and be completely submersive, bleeding into reality. Immersion through Imagination Submersion into the motivations of the character also includes recreating the character’s reality. Stanislavsky believed that reality was an extremely subjective, rather than objective, idea, and that the exploration of such on the part of the actor was essential to expressing the raw, true form of the character. Communicating this reality would essentially hide an internal agenda, as seen here: “Of course, communication also involves words, and fake playacting, and cliches, but it is focused ´primarily on everything that is behind those things, or rather between them, in the invisible space of transition from one readable gesture to another, in a montage-like connection” (Aronson 2003). Stanislavsky wanted the actor to take into account the message that could be read in-between the lines of script and to be true to that expression in their actions.

In real life, we often go into a situation with a clear-cut objective in mind. Almost always, that objective encounters unexpected resistance or diversions from the people with whom it collides. Our ‘action’ (i.e., fundamental ‘want’) in the situation does not change, but it does alter according to unexpected pressures brought to bear upon it. (2012) Processing reality in a systematic way allows the actor to relate to his character’s motivations from the outside, in. The character’s motivations must then translate to the stage directions. This can be seen as “actionsteps” in the script. According to most practitioners, it can viewed as thus: “What this tends to do is to divide a scene into a series of finite units with prescriptive action-titles, with actors proceeding on the assumption that it covers all the minute changes that take place between characters in some dramatic interaction” (Marowitz 2012). This type of engagement with the character’s motivation allows the actor to trade cognition for intuition, adapting their behavior as a systematic extension of the character into their placement and action upon the stage. Emotion Memory The Stanislovsky System explores the emotionmemory of the character. This can be seen in the actor’s emotional partnership, or emotional memory, of the character, as explained here: “The actor represents the unbreakable unity of the author and the creation, a unity recorded in the actor’s very body. Quite evident is Stanislavski’s desire to enclose the theatre within the actor – an actor, moreover, who does not enact (imitate) emotion but, rather, produces it” (Aronson 2003). Producing emotion derived from the actor’s interpretation of the internal motivation of the character creates the scene more so than even the stage itself. Stanislavsky

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Stanislavsky and the American Theatre When Stanislavsky decided to bring his acting troupe to America, his methodologies did not meet immediate success. According to Merrill, at first:

Stanislavsky received negative reactions in the press in both the United States (fear of communism) and the Soviet Union (suspicion of capitalist sympathies). Once the group reached the New York area, where much of Russia's emigre cultural elite had settled, the feeling surrounding the group changed. Established and future directors and actors praised the Russians' performances for their realism, and almost immediately began the formation of the American interpretation of the System. (2000) Though assumptions were made on the intent of Stanislavsky’s practices, he eventually was meted his due share of recognition for contributing to the art of

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The Rise of Method Acting References Aronson, O. (2003). The actor's body. Third Text, 17(4), 313-321. doi:10.1080/0952882032000166143 Ignatieva, M. (2005). Between Love and Theatre: Young Stanislavsky. Theatre History Studies, 2(5)173-192.

acting. Lee Strasburg, a student of Stanislavsky’s, would eventually go on to advance his brand of Method Acting through the psychological ramification of the practice in the realm of theatre. As Stanislavsky’s success grew, the essentials of his practices became of paramount significance on a global stage. His method continued to evolve in America with the continual development of his “System” into “The Method” technique. According to Marowitz: “The precepts derived from the ‘Stanislavsky System’ became the prevailing mode of tuition for professional actors both in America and Europe and, in many countries, it is still the official doctrine for people pursuing theatre studies” (2014). His Method continues to be the standard for actor education in most schools of 21st Century theatre. Conclusion Many have posited that Stanislavsky’s System has more flaws as time goes on due to the ever-increasing understanding the world has of psychology and analytical thought. However, none can question his style of character development gave the world of theatre the most significant development in acting motivation in the 20th century. It also “…remains a teachable system of acting with definable precepts and exercises [and is] independent of any one single teacher" (Krasner 2010). As such, Method Acting has grown in prominence because it engages not only with the external realities of the character, but the internal struggles that the character must process as they make their decisions on stage. Stanislavsky gave the theatrical community the “soul” of a character, and then asked them to save it through analysis, development, and engagement.

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Krasner, D. (2010). Stanislavsky in America: An Actor's Workbook. Theatre Topics, 20(2), 193-194. Marowitz, C. (2014). Getting stanislavsky wrong. New Theatre Quarterly, 30(3), 210-212. doi:http://0-dx.doi. org.athens.iii.com/10.1017/S0266464X14000438 Merrill, J. (2000). Stanislavsky in Focus (Book). Comparative Drama, 34(2), 258. Pitches, J. (2005). ‘Is It All Going Soft?’ The Turning Point in Russian Actor Training. New Theatre Quarterly, 21(2), 108-117. doi:10.1017/S0266464X050000023.

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The Kingdom of God in Four Parables

Jennifer Bravo


Jennifer Bravo

Kingdom of God in Four Parables

Abstract The Kingdom of God is a spiritual realm existing both within and without of the earth, not only alongside the physical realm, but permeating it. The Kingdom is inescapable and all of creation falls under its authority, though many refuse to acknowledge its existence. The parables of the Pharisee and the Publican, the Rich Man and Lazarus, and the Laborers in the Vineyard teach us that Kingdom work is necessary, our time is limited, mercy is more important than justice, and love supersedes all in the Kingdom of God. The parable of the Wheat and the Weeds provides an image of the Kingdom as well as an answer for why suffering continues to exist in the world. The ultimate challenge for the inhabitants of the Kingdom of God is that of loving their fellow man; that one command becomes the catalyst for all righteous behavior in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God in Four Parables The Kingdom of God in the Bible refers to the spiritual realm which encompasses the earth while also extending far beyond it. In his article, Bock (2014) presents the Kingdom as “a place in the midst of the world, but its reach extends outside itself [and] the claim and reach of the Kingdom in terms of its presence and accountability extends across the entire creation” (p. 35, 37). On Earth, the Kingdom is a spiritual battleground where God’s people fight carnal desires in an effort to follow God’s ways to serve as an example of the Kingdom to the lost. Many of the parables of Jesus provide a glimpse of the Kingdom and challenge its inhabitants, offering ways in which to engage in and win this spiritual battle for good. Four parables in particular that teach a great deal about the Kingdom, its purpose, and intent are the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, the rich man and Lazarus, the Laborers in the Vineyard, and the Wheat and the Weeds. Each of these parables challenges stereotypes and provokes reflection, provides a view of the Kingdom of God, and teaches the audience a lesson about living in the Kingdom. The Kingdom The Kingdom of God is not easily comprehended as it is a multifarious dimension with various types of inhabitants. It is ruled by God, and its inhabit-

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ants are the souls of God’s people, living or non-living. Those existing in the physical realm serve as representatives of their King and His Kingdom. In his article, “The Kingdom of God: An Introduction,” Dr. Richard L. Mayhue (2012) explains the Kingdom in three parts:

First, there is the Universal Kingdom, which includes the rule of God which has been, is, and forever will be over all that exists in time and space. Second, is God’s Mediatorial Kingdom in which He rules on earth through divinely chosen human representatives. Third is the spiritual or redemptive aspect of God’s Kingdom which uniquely deals with a person’s salvation and personal relationship with God through Christ. (p. 170) These three parts do not exist independent of one another; rather, they are three simultaneously functioning pieces that make up the whole of God’s Kingdom. Bock (2014) describes the Kingdom of God as “casting its shadow” over the world, but it also extends beyond the world, and is the place where all good things reside – love, compassion, humility, grace, mercy, etc. (p. 36). The inhabitants of earth will one day be dealt with according to their choices, thus “the mission of those in [the physical realm of] the Kingdom is to proclaim the Kingdom message, to sow seed in the field of the world to those outside of [the Kingdom] but within its authority” (Bock, 2014, p. 37). The goal of those sharing the message of the Kingdom of God is that those outside the Kingdom “will enter into the place where God’s rule is experienced in deliverance, not judgment” (Bock, 2014, p. 37). However, even for those who follow God, the Kingdom is not an easy place in which to exist; it constantly challenges its inhabitants to become more and more like their King. Parables Although many see the parables as simple lessons for Sunday school classes, they are much more complex and challenging. When Jesus taught in parables, the target audience was not children, but adults. Young (1998) reveals that “One-third of the recorded

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sayings of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels are in parables” (p. 7); the frequency with which Jesus employed the parables indicates that Jesus found them a valuable and effective form of teaching God’s people about the Kingdom. His parables challenge the conventional values of the time and, subsequently, all future generations. Bock (2014) explains that the purpose of the parables is “to move us to contemplate, ponder, and meditate over the meaning and importance of what Jesus is teaching” (p. 35). Young (1998) gives a simple definition of a mashal (parable in Hebrew) as “defin[ing] the unknown by using what is known” (p. 3). He then describes parables as “metaphoric story illustrations” which have the capacity to “transcend religious philosophies and to break into the everyday lives of the listeners” (Young, 1998, p. 38). This personal relevance creates room for the parables to “challenge and illuminate the audience’s concept of the divine character, as well as each person’s individual relationship and responsibility to others” (Young, 1998, p. 38). To clarify, the parables challenge individuals to reflect on the extent to which they are fulfilling the two most important commandments given in the Bible – love of God and love of neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31, Luke 10:25-28, The New Revised Standard Version). Parables also challenge the audience to dig deeper than the surface of the story to find meaning. Young (1998) describes this tactical challenge, stating, “the ordinariness of the parable is transformed by a surprising twist” (p. 6). This twist turns the expectation of the audience upside down offering a new and fresh perspective from which to approach the parabolic situation presented. The new perspective offered by the strategic shift of the parable forces the audience to reevaluate preconceived notions of justice, compassion, obedience, faith, and a host of other qualities many people feel they have already mastered. These qualities are of a spiritual nature, and are known in the Bible as the fruits of the spirit, which consist of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Kingdom inhabitants participate in an ongoing battle in the physical realm attempting to bear these fruits in every

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situation throughout the entirety of their earthly lives in order to serve as an example of God’s love. In this way, “the physical reality of the parable reveals the natural affinity between the world in which we live and the spiritual dimension” which is the Kingdom of God (Young, 1998, p. 6). This association helps to provoke self-reflection in God’s followers – or Kingdom inhabitants – to compare their current behavior to Kingdom behavior in an effort to become more like God. The parables of Jesus continue to teach us about the Kingdom of God as well as the expectations of those who consider themselves a part of God’s Kingdom, for those that are living are always at war with the carnal desires of human nature. As we look at the parables of The Pharisee and the Publican, The Rich Man and Lazarus, The Laborers in the Vineyard, and The Wheat and the Weeds, we will see the surprising twists of the stories that shift perspectives and allow for personal growth along with a clearer image and greater understanding of the characteristics of the Kingdom of God. Parable Discussion The Pharisee and the Publican In the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Tax Collector), the Pharisee prays in the Temple confessing his many works while the Publican, from far off, essentially grovels at the feet of God asking for forgiveness of his sins. Here, Jesus challenges stereotypes: that of the Publican as sinful and undeserving of grace, and of the Pharisee as a haughty braggart. Professor Frederick C. Holmgren (1994) compares the prayer of the Pharisee with the biblical tradition displayed in Deuteronomy 26:1-15 where one bringing an offering must stand in front of a crowd and “give witness of what he has done or not done as a responsible member of the covenant community” (p. 257). The fear is that this pious tradition can “easily be transformed from a confession before God to self-congratulation,” and many think the Pharisee has done this (Holmgren, 1994, p. 258). In the eyes of Holmgren (1994), the parable teaches the audience a lesson in balance, for “God’s grace … should not be forgotten, but … God’s grace [also] calls us to act “grace-fully” toward the people that God has created” (p. 260).

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Kingdom of God in Four Parables them if only they will listen (p. 278). Hatcher (2012) sees this parable as “the use of possessions as the litmus test of both righteous living and membership in the household of faith” and offers that the charity of the rich results in them “not only liberating themselves but also becoming agents of release for those caught in the trap of poverty” (p. 277, 282). Hatcher’s perspective hears the Kingdom message of generosity and love for others. Levine (2014) points out the rich man’s refusal to help Lazarus while alive despite knowing the Torah and the example of Abraham, whose “hospitality had become one of his dominant characteristics” (p. 262). Here, Levine (2012) echoes the faith and works lesson of the Pharisee and the Publican, affirming, “knowledge without action will count for nothing” (p. 266). Likewise, the parable reminds audiences that we are all only given a limited time to do work for the Kingdom before arriving in the afterlife. In the rich man’s case, “he had the resources; he had the opportunity; he had the commandments of Torah [and still] he did nothing” to serve the Kingdom, which results in his demise (Levine, 2014, p. 252, 266). The rich man’s mistakes serve as a warning to the living that there is Kingdom work to be done – in the form of generosity and care for those less fortunate – for “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). The Laborers in the Vineyard As with all of the parables, there are multiple ways to interpret the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard. Two important interpretations are the view of God as landowner, and the parable as a lesson in human economics. Jesus tells the story of a landowner who goes out early in the morning, hires workers for the day after agreeing upon a specific day wage, then goes out multiple times throughout the day hiring more workers. At the end of the work day, the manager pays the last-hired first, giving them the same pay as the morning workers’ agreed upon wage. When the manager gets to the first-hired workers at last, they expect to receive more than the pay agreed upon since they came earlier than the others. When they receive only what they were promised, they are angry and grumble at the

According to the scriptures in Deuteronomy, Levine (2014) argues, “our Pharisee has done what was commanded, even to his use of the first person in his prayer, and much more;” indeed, he has tithed and fasted more than required (p. 187-188). Levine (2014) offers another perspective, asserting, “Judaism is a communitarian movement … in which each member of the community is responsible for the other,” and in this way, the Pharisee’s overabundance of obedience can be seen to make up for the Publican’s lack (p. 193). Levine (2014) sees the lesson as being one about God’s divine grace and mercy, human generosity versus justice, and an awareness of double standards present in our lives (p. 194-195). Here, the Kingdom of God shows the need for both works and faith, addressing Holmgren’s lesson of balance also seen in the scriptures, stating, “faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead … a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:17, 24). Jesus also teaches, “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’” which means rejoicing in the grace given to them just as it is given to you, not accepting grace for yourself and wishing justice for others (Mark 12:31). This parable postures the Kingdom as accepting all who come to repentance, not just those who look or behave a certain way and teaches the importance of faith alongside action. The rich man and Lazarus The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is virtually a display of role reversal between the two from life into the afterlife. The rich man has more than enough money in his life and neglects to help those in need, namely the poor man, Lazarus. When the men die, Lazarus goes to heaven “to be with Abraham” while the rich man ends up in Hades (Luke 16:22). Instead of repenting, the rich man continues to ignore Lazarus in Hades, asks Abraham to send Lazarus to fetch him water, and pleads with Abraham to save (only) his family by sending Lazarus back from the dead to warn them (Luke 16:23-28). Abraham replies that the rich man’s family has Moses and the prophets – whom Hatcher (2012) explains, “repeatedly warned of impending judgement for those who failed to take responsibility for these marginalized folk” – to warn

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Kingdom of God in Four Parables The Wheat and the Weeds The parable of the Wheat and the Weeds paints a vivid picture of the Kingdom of God as it exists on earth. In the parable in Matthew 13:24-30, a man sows good seed in his field, but an enemy comes in the night sowing bad seeds among the good. When the plants start to grow, the workers notice both the good and bad growing together in the field and ask if the man would like them to pull out the bad. The man responds that the uprooting of the bad will also uproot the good, and so commands them to wait until the harvest to separate the weeds from the wheat. One of the unique features of the Wheat and the Weeds parable is that Jesus explains it in the Bible, stating, “‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man [Jesus]; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the Kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels’” (Matthew 13:37-39). Bock (2014) looks at the Wheat and the Weeds parable alongside the parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven – which come after the parable and before its explanation in Matthew – to gain a larger picture of the Kingdom as being “in the midst of the world, but its reach extends outside itself ” (p. 37). Therefore, it is a realm in which those who “enter into the place where God’s rule is experienced in deliverance” abide alongside what Jesus describes as “all causes of sin and all evildoers” (Bock, 2014, p. 37; Matthew 13:41). Bock (2014) sees the Kingdom’s inescapability as a “profound reason why Jesus’s Kingdom message was for the world, because the Kingdom enters into the world to contend for its well-being” regarding the salvation and redemption of humanity (p. 38). Seen in this light, the world is understandably plagued by evil and suffering because the weeds have been planted among the wheat, but the two will eventually be separated. Bock (2014) explains, “although evil is present and present to the end, it is accountable to the Kingdom and its king,” (p. 36). Review and Application These parables teach that faith and works must go hand in hand, and the works of one faithful person

landowner, who reminds them that he has not treated them unfairly by being generous to the latecomers to the vineyard. Henry (2010) interprets the landowner as God, who “does no wrong to any, by showing extraordinary grace to some,” and chastises the laborers, or God’s children, for their envy “which is displeased at the good of others, and desires their hurt … it is a sin that has neither pleasure, profit, nor honour” (p. 937-938). This interpretation recalls the description of the body of Christ which “does not consist of one member but of many … giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:14, 24). The early workers (members of the body) feel that an injustice has been committed against them despite being paid fairly because others (inferior members of the body) were treated generously by the owner. This prompts the question to the audience of divine justice versus generosity. Would those hearing this parable prefer God to act justly toward them or to show them mercy? What about their neighbors? If we wish our neighbors to be treated justly as opposed to mercifully, do we really love them as ourselves? James reminds us that in the Kingdom of God, “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). Levine (2014) views the parable as a lesson in human economics. She asserts that “Jesus was more interested in how we love our neighbor than how we get into heaven” (Levine, 2014, p. 199). Levine (2014) sees the landowner’s repeated trips to the market as peculiar in light of historical practices and suspects the landowner of offering “funds so that everyone has enough food … not simply [by] giving a handout, but hiring ‘workers’ who can thus preserve their dignity” (p. 216, 219). The laborers are the wrongdoers for they care only about “receiving their own payment, not in whether the other workers have enough food” (Levine, 2014, p. 212). According to Levine (2014), this parable compels its audience “to act as God acts, with generosity to all” (p. 219). In this way, they fail to represent the body of Christ and to love their neighbors as themselves.

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Kingdom of God in Four Parables – the physical realm, explains why suffering continues to exist in the world, and why Kingdom inhabitants must heed the call to share God’s love. God’s people are not perfect, nor are they expected to be in this life, but they must continue to strive toward such perfection in an attempt to provide an example of God’s love for all mankind. Paul encourages the inhabitants in this endeavor, testifying, “Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Philippians 3:12).

may justify a brother or sister lifting them up in the Kingdom. Mercy and generosity are more important in God’s Kingdom than justice, and Kingdom citizens should value them over justice. Neither are the inhabitants of the Kingdom to have double standards; wanting mercy or generosity for oneself, but justice for others is not a true quality of the Kingdom. The Wheat and the Weeds allows God’s people to understand why they must endure evil and suffering on earth and communicates the importance of spreading the Kingdom message of God’s love and mercy for all who turn to Him. Aside from loving God, the greatest commandment given is to love one’s neighbor as themselves – as they all make up the body of Christ. Thus, the ultimate requirement for the inhabitants of the Kingdom of God is to love their fellow man; a call for which Jesus gives no conditions. In fact, he clarifies what it means to love your neighbor, proclaiming, “love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return ... for [God] is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:3536). While the call to love seems simple, living it out on a daily basis is no easy feat; but that one command becomes the catalyst for all righteous behavior in the Kingdom of God. Peter explains love’s importance, declaring, “Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Thus, God’s people are to possess love for all and share love with all, for love of God and love of all fellow man is the heart of the Kingdom of God. Conclusions Successful in their provocation of contemplation, the parables force audiences to question their relationship to God and others, and take inventory of the changes that need to be made in the hearts of God’s people. For, to share the Kingdom, God’s followers must continually strive to accurately represent their King by becoming more like the Father they represent. The parables of the Pharisee and the Publican, the Rich Man and Lazarus, and the Laborers in the Vineyard teach us that Kingdom work is necessary, our time is limited, mercy is more important than justice, and love supersedes all in the Kingdom of God. The Wheat and the Weeds provides a major aspect of God’s Kingdom

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References Bock, D. L. (2014). The wheat and the weeds, the Kingdom, and the world. The Covenant Quarterly, 72(3), 33-38. Hatcher, K. M. (2012). In gold we trust: The parable of the rich man and lazarus (luke 16:19-31). Review and Expositor, 109, 277-283. Henry, M. (2010). Matthew henry’s concise commentary on the bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Holmgren, F. C. (1994). The Pharisee and the tax collector: Luke 18:9-14 and Deuteronomy 26:1-15. Interpretation, 48(3), 252-261. Levine, A. J. (2014). Short stories by jesus: The enigmatic parables of a controversial rabbi. New York, NY: HarperOne. Mayhue, R. L. (2012). The Kingdom of god: an introduction. MSJ, 23(2), 167-172. Young, B. H. (1998). The parables: Jewish tradition and Christian interpretation. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, LLC.

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The Alumni Association provided: Over $43,000 in scholarship funding to students in 2013-2014. Sponsorship of the Athenian Ambassadors and Young Alumni Advisory Council (YAAC). 30 Alumni sponsored events for 20132014. Over $80,000 donated to the University since 2009. Presence/table/promotional items for 23 non-alumni sponsored events. Discounts and incentives to local and national businesses.

athens.edu/alumni Alumni membership has its benefits!

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The Write Club

is for any & all students interested in writing! We’re a team looking to create safe spaces for writing, sharing resources, and obtaining feedback on our work. We’ve got great plans for the Fall, so check us out on Facebook via the QR code provided, or email Jennifer Bravo @ athenswriteclub@gmail.com & find out more!

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Contributor Notes Sarah Abney is an Art Education and English (Licensure/Certification) major at Athens State.

Recently most of her pieces have been supporting her enduring idea “Between You and Me,” which explores the connections that people from two different cultures share. When not studying or in class, Sarah enjoys being with her friends and students at Primera Iglesia. She is also the proud parent of one Welsh Corgi (Celeste) and one Manx cat (Ms. Buttons).

Brittany Aldridge is an English/Language Arts major with an affinity for creative writing and brainstorming. A transfer from Wallace State Community College, she plans to graduate from Athens State in the spring of 2017 with a Bachelor’s in English/Language Arts and a minor in Secondary Education. She enjoys word puns, reading, and watching movies with directors’ commentaries.

Bethany Boydstun Writing has been a crucial part of Bethany Boydstun’s life. Her writing has

kept her grounded while being a single mother and working through college. In 2014, she was an editor of Calhoun’s literary magazine The Muse and won first place in national competition. As an assistant editor of The Athenian, she has kept students up to date on campus happenings. She will be graduating in May 2017 with a Bachelors degree in English/Language Arts.

Jennifer Bravo is a senior majoring in English with a minor in Religion, and upon comple-

tion, she plans to pursue a career in writing. Jennifer has a passion for literature and communication via the written word. She currently serves as President of The Write Club, Assistant Editor of The Athenian, Vice President of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, and Editor of Athena’s Web at Athens State University.

Jensie Britt is a senior at Athens State University where she majors in English with minors in

Education and Drama. She is the current president of Sigma Tau Delta. While she loves reading and editing, her true love is in the theatre. She often directs, acts, and works in technical areas in plays. After college, she hopes to teach for a time in Japan before coming back and teaching high school.

Gage Craig is a senior in the English program at Athens State University. He is from Elba, Alabama, and he previously attended Enterprise State Community College.

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Jeffrey Johns is a 56 year old husband, father, and grandfather seeking a double BA in English

and History. He quit school in 1977 and worked as a merchant seaman, plumber and truck-driver. After becoming disabled, he earned his GED in 2013 and started his academic career at Wallace State. He has been a student here at Athens since Spring 2016. Other than his family, attending college has been the most fulfilling thing he has ever done.

Kaylee Lewis is a senior at Athens State. She is pursuing a degree in Cellular and Developmental biology and hopes to graduate this spring. She is also SGA President and the TriBeta Historian.

Mary Toro is a student at Athens State University.

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Spring/Summer 2016


Cover Contest Winner

Bird of Prey

By Kaylee Lewis


Submission Guidelines We accept both academic and creative work produced by College of Arts and Sciences students. As such, we welcome a wide range of submissions including research and analysis papers, case studies, short stories, essays, poems, photographs and photo essays, artwork, novel excerpts, short plays, and others. Submissions close the Friday before finals of each semester. Submissions received after the Friday before finals will be considered for the following semester’s issue. For Academic Work In order to be considered for publication, academic work must be submitted to the editors along with a faculty recommendation. Recommendation can be informal. When submitting academic work, note in the body of the email that you have discussed submitting the work with a faculty member. Include contact information for the faculty member. Submitted work can be a maximum of 15 double-spaced pages and must be formatted using the citation style appropriate to the content. Submit the work and the faculty recommendation to the editors by email. For Artwork We encourage contributors to submit multiple pieces in this category. A faculty recommendation is not necessary. Please submit artwork in image files only. We will not accept artwork submitted in a pdf. To insure that the integrity of the art remains intact, please submit high-resolution images only. Artwork should be submitted by email. For Poetry We encourage contributors to submit multiple pieces in this category. A faculty recommendation is not necessary. Please submit poetry in a Word document only. Submit poetry by email. For Fiction & Creative Non-fiction We ask that contributors submit a maximum of two fiction or creative non-fiction pieces per semester. A faculty recommendation is not necessary. Please submit your work in a Word document with the text double-spaced with a maximum of 30 pages. Submit fiction and creative non-fiction by email. Contact Information Email: athenas.web@athens.edu www.athens.edu/athenas-web-journal

Print Copies Print copies of this journal have been provided through an endowment of the Athens State University Alumni Association. Athena’s Web thanks the Alumni Association for their continued support of our goal of spotlighting outstanding work and research of Athens State students and alumni in the field of the liberal arts.

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Spring/Summer 2016 Sarah Abney Jennifer Bravo Jeffrey Johns

Brittany Aldridge

Bethany Boydstun

Jensie Britt

Gage Craig

Kaylee Lewis

Mary Toro

Athena's Web - Spring/Summer 2016  
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