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

August 12, 2006 - Posted by | Superman

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