Sky vs. Earthly Empowerment: From Angels and Superheroes to Humans and Community in the Marvel Universe and Green Christian Cosmology

Nita, Maria (2019). Sky vs. Earthly Empowerment: From Angels and Superheroes to Humans and Community in the Marvel Universe and Green Christian Cosmology. The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 31(3) pp. 236–249.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3138/jrpc.2018-0001

Abstract

The article examines “sky saviour” themes in a number of sources in the Western cultural domain, from biblical texts to contemporary paranormal fantasy, in contrast with some countercultural and ecocritical reformulations that are earth-centred. I postulate “narratives of empowerment” as representations of humans’ relationships with remembered and imagined landscapes which aim to construct new identities. I apply biosemiotic and relational theoretical approaches to inquire into the evolving nature of these representations, and what they might say about our changing human identity, from “oppressed” humans ascending to the sky to “oppressors” of the earth. Furthermore, I discuss how empowered identities are constructed through sublimated sexualities, as a means of experiencing the sky. In contrast, I show that earth-centred narratives of empowerment in Green Christian contexts reflect a transformed cosmology, with community and creativity leading to salvation. This earth-centred model is also present in popular fiction, as evidenced in my discussion of the new Marvel heroes, suggesting a democratization of the sacred and the paranormal.

Viewing alternatives

Metrics

Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations