We're going to look at something a bit different today. My good friend and wonderful author, Jim Papandrea, will soon release a new book. The theme is the prevalence of Christ-like figures within our favorite science fiction movies and TV shows. I asked him for a little background, and this is what Jim said:
Your upcoming book is about the ‘Christ-figure’ found as the protagonists of many science fiction books and movies. What gave you the idea for the book, and who do you think will be the target audience for your book?
Jim - In my early days of teaching, I created a course on religion in film, and a major section of the course was on science fiction and other heroes as Christ-figures. Ever since then, whenever I teach Christology, I always use popular culture and fiction as analogies to help me teach the doctrines about Christ - and also the historical heresies. When you study this stuff, what you quickly find out is that many of our popular heroic characters are actually more like some of the Christological heresies than they are like the real Christ. So it becomes a great teaching tool.
Then when I wrote my book, Trinity 101, I used the comparison between Superman and Batman as an analogy for the comparison between orthodox Christology and Arianism (the fourth century heresy that prompted the Council of Nicaea and the writing of the Nicene Creed). Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to expand that concept into a whole book, and I’m very grateful to the folks at Sophia Institute Press for giving me the opportunity to do that. Because the book covers so many popular films and great television shows, from Star Wars and Star Trek to LOST and all the latest Marvel and DC comic-based movies, I think the book will have a broad appeal. Anyone who loves a good hero story will be interested in the ways in which we can learn about Jesus Christ through these stories.
(My almost infallible commentary - there is no question Batman is the real Christ-figure and all around better superhero than Superman. I mean. Batman's cape serves a real purpose, Superman's is just for show. And how dangerous can the bad guy be in Superman movies when Superman can just fly around the earth backwards and re-wind time? But, I digress.... In a few weeks, we'll see if we can convince Jim to give us just a bit of his feelings on some of our favorite characters. I'm fired up about this book!