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"Be Our Guest:" Beauty & the Beast as a Case Study in Christian Hospitality

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

In chapter 16 of Disney & the Moral Imagination (the second volume in our duology on Disney & Apologetics), Zachary Schmoll and Neal Foster explore two perspectives on hospitality in Beauty and the Beast. Schmoll sees Beast’s growth in hospitality as exemplifying both the Christian’s transformation and Christ’s call to charity. He reads this beloved tale in light of the parable of the Good Samaritan, as Beast’s journey portrays two approaches to the treatment of one’s “neighbor,” or the “other.” He considers hospitality as a preparation for one’s growth into something more, as it helps to create space for the “other.”

 
"Renounce selfishness, show kindness and love towards those around you, and extend mercy to those who might not even deserve it"
"For the Christian, hospitality is not optional; it is preparation for our home with God in eternity. It begins as a motivation to meet someone else’s need; however, it continues by recognizing our shared humanity and our divine responsibility to one another"

 

This post is meant simply to offer a glimpse into our Disney & Apologetics project. Excerpts alone, however, cannot stand for an entire chapter, nor can they stand as representative for all the other ideas to be explored and arguments to be made in this 500-pp, two-volume work. There is much more to ponder within these pages! If you want to think more carefully about morality, about using the formative artifacts of pop-culture to approach Christian apologetics, and about the connections between imagination, aesthetics, and theology, buy this book! You can see what others say about it here and here.

 

Zachary Schmoll holds a PhD in Humanities from Faulkner University and an MA in Apologetics from Houston Christian University. He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Houston Christian University and Southeastern University. He is the author of Disability and the Problem of Evil (Public Philosophy Press, 2020) and was the Founding Editor of An Unexpected Journal.



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