“Loving Mac, Beth, and John: Grace in the Plays and Films of Horton Foote”
Wood, Gerald C. “Loving Mac, Beth, and John: Grace in the Plays and Films of Horton Foote,” Religion and the Arts 10, 3 (2006): 374-90.
Wood, a professor of drama and literature, analyzes the influence of religion in playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote’s writings. Foote was a Christian Scientist for most of his adult life. Wood has written extensively about Foote who was a Christian Scientist for most of his adult life. Wood himself is not a Christian Scientist. Wood observes that religion in Foote’s plays and films is never the operative center of characters’ behavior, but that certain deeply felt religious notions are at work, especially grace. In his plays, characters who are believers and non-believers alike have the same self-doubts, griefs, and despair; and they are also equally foolish or obnoxious even as they seek enduring relationships. “The defining difference between the appearance of grace in the works of Horton Foote and that in most other writers, both literary and theological, is his subtraction of all corrective actions of God” (386). Foote did not support the view of a punishing God and a perverted humanity, as found in the doctrine of original sin. “Instead, grace is an existential reality in which love inspires responsibility, courage, and flexibility. When women and men imitate a wholly good God by acting lovingly toward each other, the rewards are personhood and community” (386).
Print ISSN: 1079-9265
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