Socrates and the Modern World

I am hoping to book a performance of my play Socrates Meets Jesus (based on the book by Peter Kreeft) in New England this summer, and so I’m posting the video below of our performance of the play at the Chesterton Conference in Massachusetts.

Some of my Homeschool Connections students really like this play.  For one thing, it’s funny.  And for another, it answers the question, “What would the world’s greatest philosopher make of the claims of the world’s greatest man, Jesus Christ, who was born 400 years after the world’s greatest philosopher died?”  And even more intriguing … “What would Socrates make of the Silliness of the Modern World?”

One of the most depressing things about our present time is the lack of Eros, of the aspect of Love that desires and takes seriously what it desires.  This seems like a strange thing to say.  Isn’t our culture awash in the “erotic”?

But Eros is more than the hyper-sexuality we have all around us, which is sex cut off from purpose and even from feeling and passion.  Eros is about desiring that which is beyond us; it’s about our basic interest in life and in the “sting” of life.  The characters in my version of Socrates Meets Jesus are (like most modern people) “hypo-erotic” – they have casual sex, but they don’t really care about anything, even the things they spend their lives studying or doing or professing.

As John Lennon wrote …

Everybody’s talking and no one says a word / Everybody’s making love and no one really cares

That’s what life is like now.  “There’s always something happening, but nothing going on,” and “Everybody’s crying, but no one makes a sound.”

So this play is not just “Socrates Meets Jesus”.  It is “Socrates Meets Despair”.

Kevin O'Brien
Kevin O'Brien is the founder and artistic director of the Theater of the Word Incorporated, which tours the world evangelizing through drama. He and his actors appear on several EWTN television programs, with video clips featured on O'Brien's website, Kevin teaches many online classes for Homeschool Connections and writes a regular column for the St. Austin Review. His autobiography, A Bad Actor's Guide to the Meaning of Life, will be published soon by ACS Press.

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