From Star Wars to Superman: Christ Figures in Science and Superhero Films

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James L. Papandrea
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Sophia Institute Press
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  • From Star Wars to Superman: Christ Figures in Science and Superhero Films

When cultures such as ours toss Jesus out one door, He comes in – albeit disguised – through another. That’s why author Jim Papandrea turned to Star Wars, Star Trek, The Matrix, Terminator, Spider-Man, Batman, Dr. Who, and half-a-dozen other modern shows, discovering in each one powerful images of Christ and salvation.

Nor is that surprising.

In stories of alternative universes, people always need rescuing; somebody needs to save the day; and sometimes the whole world cries out for a savior . . . which is just what a hero is.

About the heroes of some of the most popular sci-fi stories of all time, author Papandrea here answers questions that concern Christians who are also Trekkies, Whovians, Matrix Dwellers, or aficionados of popular science fiction: What kind of “Christ-figure” is the hero of this story, and what does that say about the show’s vision of Christ, humanity and salvation?

In the interest of being scientific, Papandrea even gives each hero a Numerical Orthodoxy Score based on the description of Christ in the Nicene Creed, Christianity’s common definition of orthodoxy.

Included herein are astute Christian analyses of:

Batman * Captain * America * Doctor Who * The Fifth Element * I, Robot * Iron Man * LOST * The Matrix * Planet of the Apes * Pleasantville * Spider-Man * Star Trek * Star Wars * Superman * The Terminator * The Time Machine * Tron * Wonder Woman

Here you’ll read about:

•    The pervasive Christian imagery in Doctor Who
•    Star Trek’s predicted “death of God”
•    Free-will: the stumbling block in the first Matrix
•    The crucifixion of Spider-Man
•    Why Wonder Woman is an image of a gnostic savior
•    The meaning of salvation in Star Wars (It masquerades as Christian)
•    How Superman’s life begins as a parallel of Moses.
•    I, Robot: the religious reason why the robot is called “Sonny”
•    Whether, in any Christian sense, Neo is The One?
•    Captain American and Iron-Man: one defends the innocent, the other brings justice to the guilty
•    The tomb scene in the Fifth Element: it’s not the resurrection we need
•    Matter vs. Spirit in Tron: gnostic to the core
•    The anti-Christian bias of Planet of the Apes
•    Why the Force in Star Wars is no analogy to Grace or the Holy Spirit
•    The Star Wars Christ figure: Obi-Wan? Luke? Or even, ultimately, Darth Vader
•    What Heaven is understood to be in the LOST universe
•    Time travel as incarnation in The Terminator: a compelling analogy
•    Regeneration as resurrection in Doctor Who: Is it Christ-like?
•    How Pleasantville reverses the dynamism of the Fall
•    The baptismal significance of the plane crash in LOST
•    Pleasantville: a twisted version of Eden
•    The incarnation of the Christ-figure in Planet of the Apes
•    Tron’s parallels between Christianity and the Roman Empire. . . and much more about other science fiction and superhero shows!

Christians who enjoy popular culture will greet this fun book with interest and acclaim.


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