Supergods and a Japanese Jesus

21 Aug

Supergods by Grant Morrison (wired.com)

Science and faith have stood opposed to each other for as long as anyone can remember. The two poles have recently been embodied in public debates between people like the late Christopher Hitchens and William Lane Craig. The battle is very much still alive and great thinkers both for and against religion continue to hold the public’s attention. But between these two poles we have discovered a third world – a world less polarized and less concerned with the absolutes of organized religion and science.

A fascinating evangelist of this intriguing border world is Grant Morrison, who argues that people are creating new gods – gods agreed as not real, but who act as idols and messiahs nonetheless. His book Supergods takes an interesting and comprehensive look at superheroes, and at the way they’ve shaped and been shaped by generations.

Manga Jesus (eden.co.uk)

We’ve recently come across the wonderful world of Manga Jesus – a faithful, but fantastical, comic book representation of the story of Jesus. Here, ancient scrolls and the modern high-quality printed text are presented in a way that has been traditionally reserved for geeky teens and eccentric collectors.

It all begs the question– is religion moving into a new space? A space of myth and story, where the battles with science matter less and faith is re-contextualised as heroic.

One Response to “Supergods and a Japanese Jesus”

  1. Kev Evans August 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Neil Gaiman covered some of these issues (in a very different way) in American Gods. The idea that faith and deities are something that people create and take with them. Therefore the Gods of old (Odin, Christ etc) find themselves in conflict with Gods that our consumer culture places in a position of reverence (TV, brands etc).

    Religion therefore has to adapt and gain relevance or be superseded. When more people worship at the alter of Apple than the tree of Christ (see what i did there?) it’s because religion has lost a resonance with an apathetic world.

    Gaiman paints some of the old Gods as scoundrels, some as heroes and some as outlaws but makes you question whether the new ones are any better…

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