Friday, 2 June 2017

Jesus And John Carter

Science fiction combines imagination with ultimate questions. Therefore, it is appropriate that recently we compared ERB's John Carter with Robert Heinlein's Lazarus Long and Poul Anderson's Hanno and also discussed the significance of Jesus of Nazareth. All of these characters defy death in different ways. Carter died on Earth but lives on Mars and saved the lives of nearly everyone on Mars.

Jesus is, of course, controversial. I categorize him as part historical figure and part "higher fiction," to quote Alan Moore's description of religions. Jesus is relevant here not only because fictional characters include Christians but also because he is the White Christ in Anderson's Norse-based fantasies and plays an active role in CS Lewis' fantasy and sf. He signifies something endless.

7 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I admit to being puzzled why Alan Moore calls Our Lord a "higher fiction" if he also then accepts that Christ is a historical Person. Unless what he meant by "higher fiction" were the theological implications and consequences drawn by Christians from the life, Passion, and Resurrection of Christ.

Btw, I'd been wondering if you realized WHO was the aged pope we see dying in the prologue to Stirling's THE SCOURGE OF GOD.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Benedict?

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Exactly! Altho in the Emberverse timeline Stirling had Benedict XVI being elected pope in 1998 and then not abdicating in 2013. Frankly, I think the former pope is surprised he is still alive. I got the impression or idea in 2013 that Benedict expected to soon die.

Sean

David Birr said...

To quote a wisecrack I saw somewhere else, have you ever noticed that you never see Jesus and Batman in the same room?

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

I'm not sure I understand this. Because Christ and Batman were the same persons, in different forms? If so, I have to disagree.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
In superhero fiction, characters notice that, e.g., Superman and Clark Kent are never seen together and wonder whether they are the same. Sometimes this is parodied by suggesting absurd identifications like the Batman and Jesus.
Paul.

David Birr said...

Sean:
Exactly as Paul said. It's a joke, brought to my twisted memory by the phrasing of Paul's original post title.