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There's a memorable dinner scene in Life of Pi that attempts to springboard the main theme forward but ironically paralyzes it. After the young Pi becomes the poster child of "coexist" and simultaneously embraces the religions of Hinduism, ...

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Pete Jones

January 10, 2013  10:00am

continued from previous comment..... As a Christian seeking to bring others to gospel this all seems like something we can use to me, it presents a point of departure and a platform for discussion. A popular novel/film that is worth discussing for the resonances it has with biblical stories and the gospel regardless of what the author is trying to say.

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Pete Jones

January 10, 2013  9:57am

This sounds like evangelical rigidity all be it intelligently articulated. The world isn't Christian and neither are Hundus. If that sounds obvious then consider that this is a worldly novel, not an evangelical treatise! Firstly, Pi, as 'a Hindu first' is a pantheist. Within the conceptual reality of the text it is perfectly natural for him to assimilate other gods as he wishes to, it's not pluralism as such as just good Hindhu Dharma. He prays to Vishnu in his hour of need! Secondly, the book tells a single story twice, leaving the believing/interpretation up to us. As such it creates debate. The end piece, 'a story we can believe' 'is lonely, dark and tragic. It is stripped of all romance and poetry and has little resonance. Nobody wins, the loss and suffering hold no meaning, but they are all that remain. The alternative however, is full of resonance; Purpose and self discovery are born through the suffering as well as an unlikely empathy with other life. ...to be continued

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Don Cope

December 18, 2012  7:41am

This movie was to me one of the most intellectual and spiritual movies I have ever seen. My favorite part of the movie was when the Japanese claim investigators came to hear Pi's story. Of course, the entire journey that was covered in the adventure section of the movie, was his story. The investigators were unsatisfied with the story since there was so much that was uncomprehensible to them. Pi asked them "what do you want with me?". They responded, "A story that doesn't make us look like fools; a story that we can believe; the truth!" So Pi told the second, more believable story. This is so like us as modern Christians! The story of Jesus is so amazing, yet so hard to believe! So we seek to understand through reason alone (Just like Pi's father!). We seek another story. One that doesn't make us sound like fools in an intellectual world. One that is more believable. Our concept of truth! And the world is willing to tell us such a story!

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M A

November 26, 2012  12:30pm

Agreed. I very much enjoyed the movie, but found the aforementioned line said by Pi's father the most enlightened quote of the movie. I found the conclusion the film arrived at--the definition of faith as a personal, subjective preference--rather empty in meaning, as in my opinion most people of a serious faith (and not just of Christianity) consider their faith a conviction, not a preferred way of seeing the world. (If that makes any sense...it may not make sense. I know I felt unsatisfied with the ending remarks but for a while couldn't come up with why exactly, other than recognizing I believe the existence of an absolute truth. And there's more to it, leading me to the "conviction" language.) I was a little disappointed but not surprised by this conclusion, as it's a popular view and I know many people who hold it. However, the movie is definitely worth seeing because it is beautiful and invokes much thought. Very successful at opening up spiritual and faith-based dialogue. :)

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Wolf Nelson

November 25, 2012  12:24pm

Indeed, the difficulty with applying reason to belief is that it desolves beliefs. Not only about beliefs in three religions but in belief in either of these religions. The problem lies in that each religion make claims that are countrary to reason and observation. Belief is indeed accepting a proposition without or even countrary to evidence. It is better to see the life of Pi for what it is. A beautiful entertainment.

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