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Our World is Broken: We broke it & we know it!

Disney and the Moral Imagination (The 2nd book in the Disney & Apologetics duology) concludes with my own reflection on faith, hope, and the human condition in Raya and the Last Dragon. I begin with an observation that worldviews and narratives function similarly; both must account for a sense of origins, conflict, and resolution. While the film speaks to each of these areas, it offers a particularly rich study on the human condition—the nature and seriousness of conflict between persons (and its connection to questions of origins). This tale presents an original goodness, a fall, a curse, and an enmity between persons and community. I observe the significance of two sacrifices presented in the film, and then turn to an examination of faith, redemption, and charity. I ponder whether Raya’s suspicion of others is justified, and I speak to the power of extending charity amidst diversity, even when we question whether we have reason to trust one another.

This chapter began as a post for the Pop Culture and Theology website.

It has been reprinted with permission and expanded for inclusion in the Disney & the Moral Imagination volume. You can read the essay in its original form here.


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.


Jeremy E. Scarbrough holds a PhD in music (emphasis in philosophy, namely concerning the intersection of aesthetics, ethics, and education) from the University of Mississippi, an MA in Christian Apologetics, an MA in Theological Studies, an MME in Music Education, and a BA in Music (Vocal Performance). He has taught music and philosophy at the high school and college levels. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Philosophy for Pasco-Hernando State College, just north of Tampa, FL. He has contributed a chapter on heavy metal in Music, Theology, and Justice (Lexington Books, 2017) and a chapter on Marvel Comics’ Venom in Theology and the Marvel Universe (Lexington Books, 2019). His teleological philosophy of music (and its connection to our deep-seated convictions of justice) has been published (2022) in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, an international journal of interdisciplinary and interfaith dialogue.

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