The Men’s Group I lead called ManClan is using Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ as the basis of our weekly Sunday evening Table & Tales Meet-Up. This is an example of the content from this weeks upcoming gathering:
The Search for Father: how Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, search for his father is a picture of one of the most formational aspects of a man’s life.
In ancient times a man’s name was connected to the man who fathered him: Achilles, son of Peleus; Agamemnon, son of Atreus; Hector, son of Priam, Odysseus, son of Laertes; Telemachus, son of Odysseus.
In the Home:
But today it is not so, father and son have often been severed from one another by work, divorce, neglect or abuse. It seems the very social structures of our culture are working to separate men from their sons and one another. Many men have grown up without fathers and disconnected by distance or distraction from their grandfathers, uncles and cousins.
The age old concept of a teacher instructing students face to face has been reshaped in such a way to further isolate people from one another with distance/online education and ‘independent’ study.
The idea of apprenticeships has been diminished with the push of technology and entrepreneurial pursuits.
Men searching for Mentors often come up short these days. Content learning has displaced character formation and the idea that a man would have a relationship with another man to grow into maturity is becoming a rare experience anymore. Google is the new Gandalf.
Men no longer need to commit to a woman in marriage to experience aspects of the delights of the sexual life. Even the sex act has been reshaped by the porn and hook-up culture, men can independently indulge without having to be placed into a real relationship with a woman.
Our churches have followed the patterns of this world and now provide platforms of media consumption that replace a pulpit or a pastoral relationship. Men can “go to church” and never enter a circle of meaningful relationships that facilitate the difficult work of transformation.
All of these issues have a profound influence on the soul of a man and shape his relationships with others.