Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Is Superman a Jewish hero?

I came across this interesting article by Regie Rigby where he wrote the following:

Setting aside the pedantic point that Superman can’t be Jewish because his mother wasn’t Jewish, and (so far as we know) he hasn’t converted. But his creators were Jewish. They came from a Jewish culture and so naturally any character they created would reflect that culture. To be honest, I fail to see how it could be otherwise. Although not a Christian myself, I grew up in a Christian culture and any character created by me would surely reflect that. It strikes me as a no-brainer that Superman must surely be culturally Jewish.

Admittedly, there are religious themes from outside Judaism built into the character too. It has become fashionable in recent years to think of the Boy Scout in terms of a sun god (which of course is why Ellis named the Authority’s version of him “Apollo”) and the whole “Death of Superman” travesty ended with a rather messianic sequence of events in which his body vanished from the tomb before he was resurrected into life. Then again, Christ Himself was Jewish, so having Superman imitate the resurrection doesn’t disqualify him from a Jewish heritage.

The fact remains, that whether Radio 4 was right or not there is a lot of religious imagery, a lot of religion in the character. Which of course, got me thinking.

Then he asks this very important question:

How secular are comics? How seriously do comics take religion? How seriously should comics take religion? Religion is certainly impossible to avoid in American comics. Deities from every pantheon you could think of keep popping up, in the Marvel Universe they even have a thunder god as part of a superhero team!

* The question of religion. (A very late but Giant Sized issue!) By Regie Rigby

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August 12, 2006 Posted by | Superman | Leave a comment

Is Superman a Christian or Jewish Messiah?

Superman – Which biblical character do you think he connects with?

digitalorthodoxy blog » When Hollywood Gets it Wrong… has some thoughts on the religious interpretation of Superman in the new movie.

[Source]

Superman Returns – Discussion Resource

Superman Returns (2006) | Preview

Just When We Need Him (Detweiler)
Much has been written about the Christ imagery soaring through Superman Returns. Director Bryan Singer connects this thrilling update to 1978’s esteemed Superman: The Movie by incorporating footage and voiceover of Marlon Brando as Jor-El. He advises his son, “Even though you’ve been raised as a human being, you’re not one of them. They can be a great people, Kal-El. They wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all—their capacity for good—I have sent them you…my only son.”
 
The parallels to the Christ story are striking. Singer and his crack screenwriting partners, Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris, push the analogies even further with Superman’s physical suffering. A slight trace of the song, “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” becomes a lived reality. Superman carries much more than the Daily Planet on his back. As he summons all his strength to save humanity, Superman falls to earth, arms outstretched, a living sacrifice for us all.  
 
A recent Associated Press article noted the messianic tone of the movie trailer. Yet, several critics have also traced the Superman story to Moses, the ultimate baby in the basket. The Jewish roots of Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, have connected the character’s origins to the legend of Golem, a protector of the Hebrew people. Certainly, as the Superman myth grew before and after World War II, the longing for a Jewish liberator became abundantly clear. The Jewish search for a messiah is still relevant today.
 
Superman Returns combines the best of American, Judeo-Christian, and Hollywood mythology.
 
[Source: HollywoodJesus.org].

August 12, 2006 Posted by | Hollywood, Superman | Leave a comment