Joan of Arcadia

Ep. 6 Airdate – April 9, 2014



A clip from the first season finds Joan trying to understand why God is asking her to join, of all things, her high school chess club. Also, Sister Rose interviews the show’s creator, Barbara Hall.

Questions for Reflection and Conversation:

1. In the clip, “God” explains what a “touch move” is but Joan doesn’t understand. She thinks she should be able to change her mind, that once she touches a piece when it’s her turn, she should be able to decide to move another piece. God says she can change her mind, but to play chess, there are rules and there are consequences to making the “plays” she chooses. But what do you think God is really telling Joan here? How is chess a metaphor for this life lesson?

2. God keeps knocking at Joan’s door or appearing at the most embarrassing of times. But if you go back to the show’s very first episode (this clip is from Episode 3 of Season 1), you see that Joan is conflicted. She is curious but has to struggle with God showing up when she least expects it and then doing what he invites her to do – God never commands or says “she must” or “has to”. Who is God for you? What is your image of God – not what God looks like, but what characterizes God for you? Could the God in this episode of JOAN OF ARCADIA be real for you? Why or why not?

3. Joan is inconvenienced by God by letting God into her life. He challenges her chaos. To what extent have you allowed God to challenge the chaos in your life?

4. Imagine that you and God are playing a game of strategy in your life: God brings stability and freedom and you bring your reality to the table, including your Lenten resolution as a kind of gateway to your spiritual life. What do you imagine God is telling you regarding this thing you are doing for Lent? Are you carrying it through? Whose rules are you playing by?

5.Spend some time reading the life of St. Joan of Arc, or the little book “Joan of Arc: In Her Own Words” (translated by Willard Trask). Joan, too, had to decide whose rules to play by.



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