Elsewhere: Mormonism and Ender’s Game

Over at Times & Seasons, Kaimi Wenger has posted an interesting discussion of “Ender’s Game as Mormon literature.”

I won’t repeat what I’ve already said over there. But I thought I’d take the opportunity to point to a few resources for those interested in Orson Scott Card’s work and Ender’s Game in particular.

1. The idea of Ender as a Christ figure comes up in the T&S discussion. Pre-eminent Card scholar Michael Collings has made his essay available online. It’s also found as a book chapter in his critical study of the works of Orson Scott Card: In the Image of God: Theme, Characterization, and Landscape in the Fiction of Orson Scott Card. Collings claims: “Ender is a particularly LDS Christ-figure, however. The choices he must make are real choices; his sufferings, real sufferings.” Other essays by Collings on Orson Scott Card — including some that deal specifically with Mormon elements in his work — can be found at Starshine and Shadows.

2. One of the most interesting works of Orson Scott Card criticism that takes an explicitly Mormon stance is Eugene England’s Pastwatch: The Redemption of Orson Scott Card with it’s great opening line: “Orson Scott Card is a radical Mormon.” In fact, that essay is a great counter balance to…

3. …the popular perception among non-LDS who see OSC as a one-dimensional, homophobic, conservative ideologue. In order to understand that perception, you need to read the Salon.com interview — My favorite author, my worst interview: I worshipped militaristic Mormon science-fiction writer Orson Scott Card — until we met. Whatever your political beliefs or biases for/against Salon.com, it’s a fascinating case study in how non-LDS often just don’t get us (and don’t seem to try too hard to do so).

Of course, OSC has certainly fanned the flames a bit with his . Although he is (was?) a socially conservative democrat and somewhat of an anti-capitalist, the column doesn’t vary much from the standard Republican party/social conservative line. And his rhetoric gets a little sloppy and heated. Understandable, perhaps, considering that it is a newspaper column. But I wonder if England would be tempted to revise his assessment above — were he still around (and how I wish he was).

4. The author himself discusses how his religious beliefs influence his fiction here, here, here, several places here, and in a myriad of other places on the Web.

2 thoughts on “Elsewhere: Mormonism and Ender’s Game

  1. I just finished Pastwatch — an hour or so ago. I’ve been reading reviews online, looking to unpuzzle the way it would be read in a Mormon context; that’s what led me to your website. Thanks for all the links!

    One bone to pick, though: I’d be the first to agree that those of us on the outside “just don’t get” you; that’s simply true, and I mean no disrespect. However, I don’t think the general misunderstanding Americans have of the LDS is well characterized in the Salon article you’ve linked above. Most of us are not ridiculously vain, ‘Jewish lesbians’ who’re worried about whether anyone else is radically opposed to rape. It’s sad and it feels a bit patronizing that you’d think that’s what it means to discourse with the rest of us.

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