The Hero’s Quest – A Journey into Character and Christian Existentialism

Dan Wright, Honorary Senior Research Fellow and Headmaster of the London Oratory School, has produced the Hero’s Quest – a character education course for 16-18 year olds in Catholic ethos schools. 

The Hero’s Quest, a quest which is at the heart of all the world’s Sacred Traditions. It is a quest for meaning, a quest for self-transcendence in order to achieve self-affirmation. This course will consider the heroic quest in Classical Antiquity, especially in the myths of Homer and tragedies of Sophocles, before moving on to the Middle Eastern deserts where early Christian heroes went to lose themselves in order to find themselves. It sits somewhere within the broad tradition of Christian existentialism, drawing upon sacred texts, literature, philosophy and psychology.

These materials examine how these heroes overcame themselves in order to acquire the heroic qualities of virtuous leadership – qualities which laid the foundations of western civilisation – qualities which are still relevant in the twenty first century.

The Hero’s Quest is not for the faint hearted. It requires courage, determination and skillfulness. It is a journey which takes one into the depths of hell and darkness, through resurrection and ascension into the Light where like Beatrice and Dante, the hero finally finds himself in the presence of Beauty, Love, and Truth – a journey made possible because the Deadly Sins have been turned into Lively Virtues.