Seminary/School of Divinity
Date of Paper/Work
Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.)
Type of Paper/Work
Stephen Hipp S.T.D., William Stevenson Ph.D., John Froula Ph.D.
Controversy surrounds the literary genre of fantasy. Either fantasy is evil or it’s not real, so it does not matter. And yet few can deny that some works of fantasy have been a means for an encounter with the deeper reality of God, even controversial ones. But how can something that is not real bring someone to reality? I propose in this thesis that a good work of fantasy must be grounded on the foundational principles of reality. By doing this it participates in reality and communicates the good, true and beauty of reality. This work analyzes the Catholic principles of the reality of creation, man, and community. Chapter one focuses on the theology of creation, specifically, the parallels between how God creates and how man creates, the relationship between the material and immaterial orders, and how sacramentality leads man towards the immaterial. Chapter two explores theological anthropology, the make-up of man as body and soul, man’s desire for union through truth and love, as well as his fallen nature which places him in need of a savior; further, man is destined for glory which dark vices cannot overcome and undue emphasis on these vices betrays man’s ultimate destiny; concluding this chapter is an analysis of the Transcendentals, how man is made for the Good, the True, and the Beautiful but also how creation participates in the Transcendentals. Chapter three addresses the social dimensions of human fulfillment, especially ecclesiological considerations, including, communion and reconciliation, and the liturgy as an activity which disposes man to the theological realities discussed in this thesis.
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Rausch, Thomas, "The Reality of Fantasy" (2019). School of Divinity Master’s Theses and Projects. 24.