The Necessity of Dragons

An Apology for Wonder

“We men dream dreams, we work magic, we do good, we do evil. The dragons do not dream. They are dreams. They do not work magic: it is their substance, their being. They do not do; they are.”

Ursula K. Leguin, The Farthest Shore

Monday, April 26, 2021, 7:30 pm Central Time
Free, registration required

Dragons delight and terrify us, occupying a special place in our mythologies and fantastic bestiaries. There may be other mythical beasts that have more symbolic meaning, but no other mythical creature means more to us. So much of what we would call greatness gets wrapped up in these creatures we have imagined.

In this collation, we will explore just what it is dragons mean to us, why they are so closely connected to our most important stories and our greatest longings. My thesis will be no less than that dragons, far from being a childish indulgence or a dream we may indulge in if we have the leisure, are absolutely essential for a healthy human life.

I am not sure where our certainty that dragons are not real comes from: for they are surely clever enough to hide from our most careful patrols, and who knows how many mysterious disappearances are to be laid at their door? But this I know with great certainty: if dragons don’t exist, they should.

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Junius Johnson (PhD, Yale University) thinks and writes theologically and philosophically about beauty, wonder, imagination, and our deepest human desires. A noted expert on dragons, he is rumored in certain circles to be, in fact, a dragon. He can, of course, neither confirm nor deny this.

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