In Theology and the Marvel Universe, fourteen contributors examine theological themes and ideas in the comic books, television shows, and films that make up the grand narrative of the Marvel Universe. Engaging in dialogue with theological thinkers such as Willie James Jennings, Franz Rosenzweig, Søren Kierkegaard, René Girard, Kelly Brown Douglas, and many others, the chapters explore a wide variety of topics, including violence, sacrifice, colonialism, Israeli-Palestinian relations, virtue ethics, character formation, identity formation, and mythic reinvention. This book demonstrates that the stories of Thor, Daredevil, Sabra, Spider-Man, Jessica Jones, Thanos, Luke Cage, and others engage not just our imagination, but our theological imagination as well.
About the Author
Gregory Stevenson is professor of New Testament at Rochester University.
Table of Contents1 What Did It Cost? Sacrifice and Kenosis in The Infinity Saga
Kristen Leigh Mitchell
2 “I Was Never the Hero that You Wanted Me to Be”: The Ethics of Self-Sacrifice and Self-Preservation in Jessica Jones
Taylor J. Ott
3 Mythology, Mimesis, and Apocalypse in Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers
4 “Because You Exist”: Biblical Literature and Violence in the X-Men Comic Books
Dan W. Clanton, Jr.
5 The Gospel According to Thanos: Violence, Utopia, and the Case for a Material Theology
6 “Those Are the Ancestors You Hear”: Marvel’s Luke Cage and Franz Rosenzweig’s Theology of the Creation
7 Spider-Man and the Theology of Weakness
8 Of Venom & Virtue: Venom as Insight into Issues of Identity, the Human Condition, and Virtue
Jeremy E. Scarbrough
9 Matt Murdock’s Ill-fitting Catholic Faith in Netflix’s Daredevil
Daniel D. Clark
10 Gods upon Gods: Hierarchies of Divinity in the Marvel Universe
Austin M. Freeman
11 The Thor Movies and the “Available” Myth: Mythic Reinvention in Marvel Movies
12 Thor: Ragnarok, Postcolonial Theology, and Life Together
13 Savage Monster or Grieving Mother? Sabra and Marvel’s Political Theology of Reconciliation in Israel-Palestine
14 Modern Re-enchantment and Dr. Strange: Pentecostal Analogies, the Spirit of the Multiverse, and the Play on Time and Eternity
Andrew D. Thrasher