To deceive yourself is easy, but to stop deceiving yourself is hard. This truth is more apparent to each of us when we look to other people than it is when we look to ourselves. Why? Because we tend to believe the lies we have told ourselves, so much so that they really aren’t lies anymore for we have forgotten the truth. One of the gifts of excellent drama––especially tragic drama but even the right kind of comedic drama––is that we are given the chance to see dynamics like this in play in the lives and worlds of characters on the stage or on the screen. If we are brave and honest enough, we may even be willing to see partial reflections of ourselves.
We’ve been spending a few episodes now diving into the masterful television dramas Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, following a lecture series we hosted here at the McGrath Institute for Church Life on the two shows. Today, we will continue that exploration, turning our attention now to the themes of self-deception, transparency, and redemption, or lack thereof. My guest today will guide us through these considerations, based on the lecture he delivered on this topic for our lecture series.
Kenneth Craycraft is the James J. Gardner Family Chair of Moral Theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology, the seminary for the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He writes a monthly syndicated column for OSV News, a weekly column for Our Sunday Visitor (“Grace is Everywhere”), and monthly columns for The Catholic Telegraph and the U.K.-based Catholic Herald. Dr. Craycraft is the author of The American Myth of Religious Freedom. His forthcoming book, Neither Left nor Right: How Catholic Moral Theology Transcends Partisan Politics, will be published by OSV Press in the Spring of 2024. He is a licensed attorney in Ohio, who holds a Ph.D. in theology from Boston College and a J.D. from Duke University School of Law.
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