Rebecca DeYoung, Ph.D

Rebecca DeYoung, PhD        Contemporary culture trivializes the “seven deadly sins,” or vices, as if they have no serious moral or spiritual implications. Giving kids a richer moral vocabulary based on them and bringing a visual representation of their internal corruption of our very selves is what humanity needs. I found the Hall of Nightmares story and characters very entertaining, much like the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, but with Christian themes presented in a fantastical way.

Personifying the vices gives Sage Alexander a formidable enemy to fight.  It makes Greed a primarily force in one’s own heart and a result of cumulative effect of one’s own choices, which is what a vice or character trait of any sort typically is.

Sometimes Greed is depicted as about accumulating or possessing more stuff by spending (excess in taking in), other times as hoarding what you have/not sharing (miserliness; deficiency in giving out), sometimes both.  Your depiction seemed to focus more on the former, but from a “heart” bent on insatiable desire, which seems exactly right.

Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares is a wonderful story my children enjoyed.  I look forward to “seeing” the next deadly sin come to life.

Rebecca DeYoung  (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) is associate professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and published author of Vainglory and Glittering Vices. She wrote the “seven deadly sins” entry for the Encyclopedia of Christianity and collaborated with two of her seminary students to develop a high school/college curriculum on the subject.