Thursday, May 26, 2005

Jedi as Religion

Orson Scott Card has a great piece on Beliefnet about Revenge of the Sith and the religious implications of Star Wars given the way the Jedi “faith” has made its way offscreen. “In a way, this is kind of bittersweet. It shows that the universal hunger for meaning is still prevalent, even in our agnostic era, which is encouraging; but these true believers will eventually realize that the philosophy behind Star Wars is every bit as sophisticated as the science — in other words, mostly wrong and always silly. . . . As a religion, the Force is just the sort of thing you’d expect a liberal-minded teenage kid to invent.” Worth reading in full for a few other trenchant lines on invented religion.

As a friend commented in sending this link, Card is an exceptionally talented writer, but the piece carries deep irony for those of us who are not Mormons because Mormonism offers “a mythology perhaps as preposterous as the farcical Jedi religion Card ably critiques in this piece.” Still, as Card says in the piece, “It’s one thing to put your faith in a religion founded by a real person who claimed divine revelation, but it’s something else entirely to have, as the scripture of your religion, a storyline that you know was made up by a very nonprophetic human being.”

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