In the News: Benjamin Heidgerken on ‘Inside Out 2’ and Catholic Understanding of the Human Person

Benjamin Heidgerken, adjunct professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences, recently published an article about the movie “Inside Out 2,” and its connections to Catholic understanding of the human person.

From the article:

The film’s most prominent reverberations with the Judeo-Christian tradition arise from the fact that our faith also has a long history of personifying our inner world. From Aristotle to St. Thomas Aquinas, the parts of the human soul were often seen as analogous to citizens in a human society. Before and during the time of Jesus, the Jewish community at Qumran (the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls) developed the different idea that the human person’s mental life could be explained as the pull between two angels, one good and one that seeks to pull us from God.

This latter tradition continued in the fourth century as Christian monks sought to imitate Jesus’ confrontation with the demons. Monastic thinkers like Evagrius of Pontus and St. John Cassian developed lists of thoughts – like envy, vainglory, and gluttony – that they believed originated through the interference of malicious spirits.