Gods and the Nature of the Deity in Pop Fiction

American Gods, Battlestar Galactica, Xena. People’s fascination with gods seems to have shifted from worship to a kind of character archetype. Are "gods" essentially malleable symbols open to interpretation, or is it fundamentally incorrect to draw a line connecting pop fiction gods with their cultural basis?

Potential here to expand the subject to include comics (the Wicked the Divine), games (God of War franchise), film (Bruce Almighty, Dogma, Gods of Egypt).

  • Fascinating topic. One thing I'd suggest for the prospective author to consider is difference in representation between the pantheistic "gods" of antiquated mythologies vs. the monotheistic Judeo-Christian "God" who has remained the cornerstone of much of the world's contemporary theology. Despite all deriving from similar religious foundations, there's a clear distinction between Chris Hemsworth portraying Thor (whom few, if any, people still hold sacred) and Morgan Freeman playing Yahweh (which, quite literally, breaks a Commandment that many people still consider blasphemous). How do the authors/filmmakers approach these two classes of gods differently, and does the latter adhere to the same archetypal logic as the former? – ProtoCanon 5 years ago
  • The comparison of superheroes to Gods may serve the purpose of this article well, both in comparing and conceptualizing superhuman deities with supernatural powers. Superheroes such as Batman, Superman, or Spiderman, have become symbols of the potential within all humanity for greatness. – iRideChallenges 5 years ago
  • Perhaps the issue boils down to a laziness, limitation, blockage in the English language and American culture with regard to the concept of godliness. What is a god, anyway? Immortal, all-powerful, divine...the words usually hark back to our religious heritage. Those who maintain and value that religious heritage are understandably pained by callous use of the term, perhaps because of the confusion it engenders. Those who do not feel a connection to a religious heritage might express their ignorance, but also a concerning anger or rebellion towards it by careless use. The term "superhero" has wide appeal perhaps because it does not trample on belief, but moves in a different, fantastical and immensely interesting direction. According to an article in the New York Daily News, the term superhero was first used in 1917, long before Marvel and DC came into being. It's a tremendously useful 100-year-old word. Maybe it's time for another even more descriptive word. After all, we have made some progress in that length of time, haven't we? – CLHale 5 years ago

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