On this episode of Off the Shelf, Jim and I discuss one of my favorite topics…superhero and sci-fi movies! From Star Wars to Superman: Christ Figures in Science Fiction and Superhero Films, Jim takes a look at the parallels woven into some of today’s most popular movies and TV series including Star Trek, Star Wars, The Terminator as well as the offerings of the DC and Marvel cinematic universes. We discuss where they get it right and where they get it wrong. A fun episode you’re sure to enjoy if you geek out over superhero films.
Listen to Off the Shelf Episode 058 exclusively on Breadbox Media below.
From the publisher Sophia Institute Press
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
Jim Papandrea is a teacher, author, speaker, and musician. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in music and theatre arts, Jim went on to receive his M.Div. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, with a concentration in youth ministry, then spent several years in full time ministry, focusing on youth and music ministry, and serving as a consultant in youth ministry. Jim holds a Ph.D. in the history and theology of the early Christian church from Northwestern University, with secondary concentrations in New Testament interpretation and the history of the Roman Empire. He has also studied Roman history at the American Academy in Rome, Italy.
A former protestant minister and convert to Catholicism, Jim was until recently Director of Adult Faith Formation at Holy Family Parish in Inverness, IL, overseeing Holy Family’s School of Ministry, Marriage Enrichment ministries, and Spiritual Renewal ministries. He is now Assistant Professor of Church History at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary (on the campus of Northwestern University) in Evanston. IL. He has also taught as an adjunct instructor for Barat College, Elmhurst College, Loyola University Chicago’s Institute for Pastoral Studies, and the lay formation programs of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Joliet. He currently teaches in the Chicago Catholic Scripture School and the Deacon Formation Program of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Jim’s website is http://www.JimPapandrea.com.