Wade Hollingshaus, department chair and associate professor of the Department of Theatre Arts Studies, dedicated his July 26, 2016 devotional address to the reality of adversity and the “cure” that can be found through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Hollingshaus began his address with a brief reference to Endgame, the second play of dramatist Samuel Beckett, a title that refers to the final part of a chess match.
“The character Hamm, frustrated with the unassailability of his reality, utters, ‘You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that,’” Hollingshaus said.
This line caused Hollingshaus to reflect on its meaning in the context of Beckett’s life and the contemporary Western world, but most importantly, in the context of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Indeed, we live in a state of malady, a state of pain, hardship and uncertainty, a state in need of a cure. But at the same time, we would also be quick to point out that, contrary to Hamm’s latter statement, there is in fact a cure for this malady: the Savior Jesus Christ,” Hollingshaus said.
To explore this idea further, Hollingshaus focused his address on three aspects of life here on Earth: “The Blessed Fall”, “Thinking and Playing on Earth” and “The End of Art”.
Hollingshaus explained there is adversity and hardship in life because of “The Blessed Fall” – that is the nature of life here on Earth. Through Christ, a “cure” for life here on Earth is possible.
He said one must employ reason and logic in order to take advantage of this cure.
“For me, thinking about thinking has been, literally, a Godsend,” Hollingshaus said. “Thinking has not been the thing that has led me out of my faith, but rather the very thing that has brought me deeper into it.”
For Hollingshaus, an important part of this thinking process is the act of creating art, as artistic engagement presents the challenge of mobilizing the world.
“Artistic pursuits allow us the glorious opportunity to explore the divinity of creativity,” Hollingshaus said. “In this sense, artistic pursuits allow us opportunities to become more like God, not just as we create, but as we learn to create in a world of eternal, material law and with God-like privilege and responsibility—in short, with agency.”
These opportunities for critical thought and creation allow those on Earth to overcome The Fall and find a cure in the Savior Jesus Christ.