More ripples in the news Force

textThe religion-beat pros at the ReligionLink.org project have read the signs of the Hollywood times and released a newsroom-friendly guide to the God-talk elements in Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and other similar summer flicks. So why do these movies matter? Preach it:

These and other science fiction films create alternate realities with their own belief systems. In the case of the Star Wars series, The Force — which contains elements of several real-world religions — has become a metaphor in popular culture for the life energy of the universe. Fans sometimes take these “invented” religions for their own, and occasionally it’s difficult to discern the line where fandom and genuine faith intersect.

Like I said the other day, may the sources be with you. If you want me to quit saying that, let me know. The flood still hasn’t hit.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Brian lewis

    Keep saying it. I want the sources to be with me.

  • John Cox

    The idea that these “films create alternate realities with their own belief systems” seems wrongheaded to me. ReligionLink seems to be confusing faith with fandom, the nature of which was perfectly captured in gently hilarious, and unexpectedly poignant, “Galaxy Quest” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0177789/. The “importance” of “Star Wars” pretty clearly has morphed from being an expression of popular culture to being a financial phenomenon, and a testament to George Lucas’ need for control at the expense of art.

  • http://pewview.mu.nu Warren

    James Sire’s book The Universe Next Door talks quite a bit about the Hitchiker’s Guide books and the philosophies in them. I got enough information out of it that I wrote a decent (A-) paper on the “trilogy” (even then it was four books) for my undergrad philosophy class at Liberty.


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