Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Christian Symbolism?

I'm only asking the question: does the most recent Batman movie ("The Dark Knight") hold Christian symbolism or is it merely playing at Christian themes to build an entertaining story? I will make sure that I do not give-away any plot for those of our readership that have not yet seen the movie.

The opening synopsis for the story is that the city of Gotham has a serious crime and mafia problems; the criminals fear Batman, yes, but the people are not certain if Batman is a person of fortitude and principle or an out-of-control "citizen-cop."

There are many scenes and lines in the movie that this author identified as potentials for direct Christian symbolism. One that comes most readily to mind is as follows:

Much of the idea behind the Batman comics and movies is that Batman is trying to save the city of Gotham from being overrun by criminals, evil doers, and despair. At one point, two characters decide that Batman (though he was not guilty) must be wrongly blamed for a set of crimes so that another character (the guilty one) could regain a noble reputation; this was decided because it was thought that this would give the people of the city hope that a brighter, better day was coming. One of the characters speaks about this, saying about Batman: "we must pursue him - he who had done no wrong." Upon the conclusion of this line, the Gotham police began to attempt to arrrest Batman.

When I heard that line (pursue he who had done no wrong), the first thing that came to my mind was the suffering servant in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Batman is certainly not anything like Jesus but I could not help but consider this comparison.

Consider these two passages from Isaiah that predict Christ as the suffering servant.

Isaiah 53:3-5: He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem. Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, while we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins. Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole; by his wounds we were healed.

Isaiah 50:6-7: I gave my back to those who beat me, my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced.

Praised be Jesus Christ - he who had done no wrong.

Take care, -Jeremy


Anonymous said...

More like Nietzschean -

Check it out...

Two Face = The noble lie, the opium of the people - myths needed to preserve the herd. Listen closely to the speech given by Batman at the end of the movie -"people deserve more than the truth."

Joker = The cold, brutal, amoral world. The Joker represents what the world truly is to Friedrich N. - a world without principles or direction. A world that when looked at honestly breeds Nihilism.

Batman = the superman who is above the law. Is this not the actual definition of a vigilante - someone who works outside the law based on his own sense of justice?
Wayne has willed himself to power, a power he exerts for what the herd considers "good."

I loved Nolan's movie, but the final sequence was a little disturbing to me - Batman's speech in particular. It raises some fascinating questions - is the truth ever "too much" for people? Do we need to create heroes for our own sense of well being?

And Zimmer's score is good too.

Anonymous said...

Excellent comment. I don't know exactly if it is Nietzche, but I would agree with the other identifications. When I saw the film, I too was taken aback very much by that final speech.

Anonymous said...

Batman was a great movie. Enough said.

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.