Seeking Transcendence in the Summer Blockbuster

Andrew Barber | July 10, 2015

For the last century mass entertainment has been marked by attempts to present children’s fare for adults. Comics have transitioned into graphic novels that are taught in college courses, gaming has gone from Pac-Man and Mario to riffs on high literature and explorations of philosophy, the space drama of Buck Rogers has become the pseudo-religion of Star Wars. So we have extended adolescence, packed out Comic-Cons, and the summer blockbuster.

Simultaneously, the Christian world has become increasingly adept at cultural awareness and engagement. There are, of course, incredibly strong and diverse feelings about this trend, but the motivation often seems in the right place: while maintaining orthodoxy, Christians want to create a positive, common space with a culture from which we feel more and more disconnected. And Christians also want to encourage each other to consume beneficial art.  

Deep Longing

But we have a tendency to overanalyze when it comes to summer blockbusters. Around this time every year Christian writers churn out article after article with titles like “Finding the Gospel in The Avengers” or “Jurassic World and Our Yearning for New Earth.” I don’t want to come down too hard on these types of pieces (I’ve written…

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