The False, Bad, and Ugly: Looking for faith and beauty in movies and other dark mirrors
In this Newman Centre Faith & Reason lecture, Professor Randy Boyagoda argues that the great interest, in recent years, in horror movies is indicative of a suppressed but enduring desire for faith and beauty. Situating his discussion in the context of the Catholic intellectual tradition, Professor Boyagoda makes a case for how to best cultivate an openness to the transcendent in mundane times. Hosted by Peter Copeland of Catholic Conscience and the St. Monica Institute.
- 00:00:00 Introductions
- 00:03:00 Overview of the Talk
- 00:03:50 the ‘Clown’ and the State of Religious Belief in the Modern Age
- 00:08:20 the ‘Clown’ and the Vision of Good and Evil in Stephen King’s ‘It’
- 00:15:50 Evil in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition
- 00:17:00 Representing Evil – an Absence of the Good – in Art?
- 00:21:30 Beauty as Integrity, Clarity, and Proportionality
- 00:24:00 Evil in our Culture, as Portrayed through ‘It’ – Evil as Psychological Projection
- 00:29:15 ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism’
- 00:33:00 Finding Light in the Here and Now
- Interview-Style Q&A
- 00:39:00 the Subjective and the Autobiographical style in the Postmodern era
- 00:45:20 Satire – the Right Balance Between Lightness and Contempt?
- 00:48:20 the Role of Faith in Love
- 00:52:10 the Art world and Art scene today
- 00:58:00 the ‘Via Pulchritudinous’ or the ‘Way of Beauty’ to God
Video Available HERE
Randy Boyagoda is a novelist and professor of English at the University of Toronto, where he also serves as an academic administrator and teaches the Gilson Seminar in Faith and Ideas at St. Michael’s College. He is the author of six books, including the novels Original Prin and Dante’s Indiana, and regularly contributes opinions, essays, and reviews to a variety of publications. His fiction has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize, and named a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Selection and Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year. He contributes essays, reviews, and opinions to publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the Walrus, First Things, Commonweal, Harper’s, Financial Times (UK), Guardian, New Statesman, Comment magazine, and the Globe and Mail. He lives in Toronto with his wife and four daughters.
From Professor Boyagoda’s faculty page
“Writer, critic and scholar Randy Boyagoda is the author of four novels, a SSHRC-supported critical biography, and a scholarly monograph. His fiction has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize, and named a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Selection and Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year. He contributes essays, reviews, and opinions to publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the Walrus, First Things, Commonweal, Harper’s, Financial Times (UK), Guardian, New Statesman, Comment magazine, and the Globe and Mail, in addition to appearing frequently on CBC Radio and podcasting for the Toronto Public Library. He served as President of PEN Canada from 2015-2017 and is currently a member of The Walrus Educational Review Committee, and the boards of the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Conference on Christianity and Literature. His fourth novel, Dante’s Indiana, was published in 2021.”
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. Dante’s Indiana: A Novel. Windsor: Biblioasis, 2022. 280 pp.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. Original Prin: A Novel. Windsor: Biblioasis, 2018. 224 pp.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. “When Literary Politics Mattered to Geopolitics.” American Literary History 28.3 (2016): 634-643.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. Richard John Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square New York: Random House, 2015. 480 pp.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. “Sister Saint Maisie Connecticut.” Image 86(2015): 7-16.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. “Reading Faulkner in and Beyond Postcolonial Studies: ‘There is no where for us to go but east,’” The New Cambridge Companion to William Faulkner. John T. Matthews, Editor. New York and London: Cambridge University Press (2015): 204-219.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. Beggar’s Feast: A Novel. Toronto:Penguin, 2011; Colombo, Sri Lanka: Perera-Hussein, 2011; New Delhi, IN: Harper Collins, India, 2012; New York: Penguin USA, 2012; London, UK: Penguin,UK, 2014. 336 pp.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. “Preface to the Twentieth-Anniversary Edition” of Doing Well and Doing Good: The Challenge to the Christian Capitalist, by Richard John Neuhaus. New York: Random House (2012): xi-xiv.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. “There Are No Coconut Trees in Toronto,” in Reality Imagined: Stories of Identity and Change. Candice Fung, Janet E. McIntosh, Ken Whytock, Editors. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson (2011): 24-32.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. “A Deus Ex Machina in Flannery O’Connor’s ‘The Displaced Person.’” The Southern Literary Journal 43.1 (2010): 59-74.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. Race, Immigration and American Identity in the Fiction of Salman Rushdie, Ralph Ellison, and William Faulkner. New York: Routledge, 2008. 143 pp.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. “Digital Conversion Experiences in Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis” Studies in American Culture 30.1
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. Governor of the Northern Province: A Novel. Toronto: Penguin, 2006. 231 pp.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. “From St. Augustine to Salman Rushdie: Time and Narrative in Postcolonial and Pluralist Literatures.” Postcolonial Text 1.1 (2004): online journal.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. “Just Where and What is ‘the (comparatively speaking) South’? Caribbean Writers on Melville and Faulkner. Mississippi Quarterly 57.1(2003): 65-74.
Boyagoda, Soharn Randy. “Three Kings of Disorient: A Globalized Search for Home in Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet” South Asian Review.