“What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.”
This year’s theme, “Under the Son,” was inspired by two main ideas: the verse above and personal experience with the struggle of trying to create new ideas. The fact is, there are no new ideas. The concepts we have today can be traced back to the beginning of time. Creators aren’t tasked with making anything completely new, but with taking the old and rearranging it in a new way.
One of the oldest ideas, the hero’s quest, can be found from Homer’s Odyssey to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The true origin of this story, however, was etched into the very fabric of the universe. Throughout the Bible, God proclaims that Christ was sacrificed before the creation of the world (1 Peter 1:18-20, Revelation 13:8). The story of the ultimate hero was set into motion before the universe began and undoubtedly placed in every heart of man; the archetype of the hero’s quest can be found in nearly every culture on earth.
This is where the play on words came in. We chose to use “son” instead of “sun” because Jesus is the author and subject of the greatest Story. Everything on earth is under the dominion of the Son just as it is physically under the sun.
This is also a theme of contrasts. Taking more inspiration from Ecclesiastes, chapter 11 verses 7-8 say:
“Light is sweet,
and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
However many years anyone may live,
let them enjoy them all.
But let them remember the days of darkness,
for there will be many.”
Living under the sun means a life of contrast. There is light and darkness–a tension between good and evil. God has placed us on earth as a part of His creation; we have what He has given us, nothing more and nothing less. Throughout the ages, people have taken what is here under the sun and refashioned it–perhaps in a futile attempt to make it their own. In truth, the greatest purpose for creating is to give glory to the ultimate Creator, the very One who left us ideas to refashion throughout the ages.
The Chimes is one of the richest and most noble traditions that Shorter has. I hope that this 102nd edition inspires you and allows you to see the true heart of Shorter University. May you also be made aware of the old ideas ingrained in creation and the oldest Story which is carved into the hearts of men.
-Hannah Cauthen, Editor-in-Chief