Philosophy within the Jedi Order: a Star Wars chapel group

KNOXVILLE – In a chapel group not so far away, Dr. Jerome Prinston leads Johnson students in an unusual chapel group that centers its discussion on Star Wars and Philosophy.

This past week Dr. Prinston discussed Stoicism by comparing the Greek Stoic philosopher and slave, Epictetus, and Star Wars’ protagonist turned antagonist, Anakin Skywalker.

Dr. Prinston made the point that Epectetus and Anakin both started out their lives as slaves to a master. They served as they were suppose to and then someone came and freed them from slavery.

However, it seems clear that Skywalker would have benefited from learning the ideas of Stoicism, that self-control, discipline, and avoidance of destructive emotions leads to a healthy reasoning and lifestyle, and, in Skywalker’s case, proper usage of “the Force.”

In short, Dr. Prinston uses the group to illustrate that we can really learn a lot from Star Wars, like not building an obvious weak point to destroy a massive space station. Or perhaps that patience and focus are key in everyone’s life. Choosing the right words to use in a situation greatly determines the outcome and we should always be careful of what we say and do because we may not know a person’s past.

It does not matter if you are part of the New Republic or First Order, any student interested in Star Wars and philosophy is encouraged to join this chapel group on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in PW 227.

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