One hundred years ago next month, an English word completely changed its meaning. In this Titanic centenary year, Christian thinkers and authors turn their minds to the legacy of Titanic in questions of faith and life in the twenty-first century.
Almost unbelievably, a whole century has passed since the RMS Titanic sank with the loss of nearly 1500 lives on her maiden voyage to New York.
In this centenary year of Titanic’s entry into the collective consciousness, Eden.co.uk offers a range of books with a fascinating, faith based view on Titanic’s loss; from personal stories and fictionalised accounts to what we might learn about life and faith in our own fallible and fragile age.
Divine power and human vulnerability
This sense of timelessness is due in large part to the way the word Titanic has entered the culture and mentality of the English speaking world. There is a deep irony in the fact that a ship, with a name inpired by the strength of gods, should prove so flawed and vulnerable in the hands of men.
The name Titanic, a reference to the race of powerful Greek gods that ruled the mythological Golden Age, was a name to inspire awe and wonder on a grand scale. Today the name is only ever used in connection with disaster and infers an element of human incompetence and even negligence.
Controllable world - uncontrollable God
In Greek mythology, the Titans were overthrown and their divine rule ended by a new age of younger gods: The Olympians. Unwittingly contuing the ancient saga, White Star Lines had already named the Titanic’s longer-living sister ship as The Olympic.
The sinking of the Titanic was a wake-up call for a people who controlled a quarter of the world, had subdued nature and continually advanced into territory once thought to be the sole domain of a Christian God. Dazzled by their own acheivements, it must have seemed that even God might be under their control.
Humility and the disaster of arrogance
Disaster turns the thoughts of men and women back to God. A national outpouring of greif followed the Titanic sinking on scale surpassing that of Queen Victoria’s passing in 1901, but only a teardrop compared to what would follow the the loss of a generation in the years or 1914-1918.
The 19-teens were still an age where people would turn to the church for comfort and even sort of explanation as to why. Some no doubt saw the Titanic disaster as a punishment for arrogance, a lesson in humility, even an opportunity to repent.
Legacy of insight into questions of faith
Whatever the motivation, people then as now look to faith to help them deal with the impact of such an event on their relationship with God, the world and their own existence.
In this centenary year of Titanic’s entry into the collective consciousness, Eden.co.uk offers a range of books with fascinating, faith based insight on the Titanic’s loss including factual personal stories, fictionalised accounts and what we might learn and teach about life and faith in our own fallible and fragile age.
Titanic and faith: seven books for you
Titanic: The Ship of Dreams: - Titanic was the ship of dreams that turned into a nightmare. But out of tragedy comes a glimmer of light. John Harper focuses on Titanic as a story of faith and courage and eternal hope. By John Harper.
S.O.S Titanic: (Faith Finders Series): - Chrissie and Luke Barwell are surprised to find themselves on their way to America aboard White Star Line’s newest ship, Titanic. In this retelling for children, Jill Silverthorne follows Chrissie and Luke as they cope with unforeseen dangers. By Jill Silverthorne.
Hearts that Survive: - In this novel of the Titanic, Lydia Beaumont is on her way to a new life on board the grandest ship ever built. This sweeping epic of love, heartbreak, and secrets spans three generations to show how God moves through our mistakes and our disbeliefs. By Yvonne Lehman.
Echoes of the Titanic: - Kelsey Tate’s great-grandmother, Adele, survived the Titanic, but did she leave a legacy or a lie? Pursuing mysteries past and present, Kelsey defends her family and livelihood rediscovering a faith she’d all but abandoned. By Mindy Starns Clark and John Campbell Clark.
Titanic Lessons: - Do historic realities predict problems for a growing church? When growth challenges the Church’s ability to serve the needs of all the people, does growth become a Titanic liability? Timely warnings for today’s super-sized churches. By Hollis Green.
The Band That Played On: - Extraordinary account the 8 brave musicians who went down with the Titanic and whose individual stories have never been fully told. A new and moving viewpoint on the Christian background of the men and on their courageous sacrifice. By Steve Turner.
Harper the Hero: Titanic Sacrifice: - 28-page children’s comic tells the story of Baptist minister John Harper who became a hero on the sinking of the Titanic in his self-sacrificial struggle to save his much-loved six-year-old daughter Nana. By Eikon Bible Art.
Titanic: the not-so-trivial-files
In 1912, `Abdu’l-Bahá – son of the Founder of the Bahá’i Faith – was urged to sail for New York on Titanic as it was more modern and comfortable than his scheduled voyage on the SS Cedric. He opted to travel on the older ship. Later he presented a talk about the Titanic and the meaning, purpose, and proper faith response to such tragedies.
March 24th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison