"Wham! Pow! Bang!...Catharsis?" Superheros as Modern Mythology
SUMMER CLASS 2022
Dates: July 5- Aug. 25 (8 weeks) James Goode
Mtg. Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays
Mtg. Time (Pacific Time): 11:00-11:50 AM
Credits: 1/4 (elective)
We live in a generation where the comic book dominates the movie theater, the TV screen, and the imaginations of many children. Even if capes and tights aren’t “your thing,” superheroes are an important part of the modern world. Have you ever wondered why that is? Why are these types of stories so popular, and what should you—as a Christian—think of them?
This course will examine modern “superheroics” by comparing and contrasting them with ancient mythology. We will look at the development of the idea of the superhero, starting with the Book of Judges, moving on through the Iliad and Greek and Roman myths, to the Wild West hero, to the comic book in the 1930s, and on to our own time of the superhero blockbuster. Along the way, we will particularly examine how various worldviews and philosophies have been disguised behind a cape and a mask with
vigorous class discussion.
This class is designed for two types of students: the one who loves superheroes (and has no idea why, or even if Christians should) and the one who simply wants to understand a mass cultural phenomenon from a Christian perspective (Marvel alone has made 25 billion and counting). Whether their original position on superheroes ranges from “love” to “hate”, students can expect to clarify and rightly order their thinking on this topic and will feed all this into an end-of-class paper.
Mythology by Edith Hamilton