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CHRISTIAN ACADEMY IN JAPAN
Christian
Academy
in Japan
English Department at CAJ
Vincent Howard, Department Chair

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” said Joan Didion. The CAJ English department is comprised of teachers who agree that, as Christians, we are in a unique place to understand the importance of stories and the words that compose them.
Behind every story, we seek the One Story to which all others point, the only one with the message of everlasting life.
We know that by his word God created heaven and earth. We also know that Jesus came to us as God’s Word: the man who is everything God wants to say to us, heaven’s greatest truth and deepest grace -- personified. And at the center of our lives is The Bible, God’s salvation story, which joins us to Jesus in a narrative that, by His spirit, lives and breathes.

In our classrooms, we English teachers look with our students for echoes of that story. With growing complexity, from kindergarten to AP English language and literature, we discuss characters, compare themes, annotate paragraphs, analyze metaphors, parse arguments -- and write paragraphs, metaphors and arguments of our own. As we do this work (which feels like fun on some days and great labor on others), we seek the thread that connects novels, memoirs, articles, poems, songs, essays and films to the Great Narrative that encompasses all others. Behind every story, we seek the One Story to which all others point, the only one with the message of everlasting life.
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