What Would Superman Do?

June 15, 2006

by Julie Carlson (254) 710-6681

People who want to live a moral life, a life of service and love of neighbors often ask, "What Would Jesus Do?" But a Baylor English professor said they could just as easily ask "What Would Superman Do?"

"I think the character is just about as near as popular culture can come to showing us what a savior might look and act like," said Dr. Greg Garrett, professor of English and author of Holy Superheroes and the forthcoming The Gospel According to Hollywood. "Superman's story contains many of the elements of the Messiah or Christ stories."

In the soon-to-be-released "Superman Returns," Garrett points to the trailer for the film, which features a voice-over of Jor-El (Marlon Brando) speaking to his son Kal-El (Brandon Routh) that sounds like God speaking to his Son: "They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all--their capacity for good--I have sent them you, my only son."

"This installment of the saga, which shows Superman finding his place in the world after a long absence, should feature many of the things that make him such an archetypal character: themes of good versus evil, power and responsibility, heroism and sacrifice, truth, justice," Garrett said. "This should be a film with inspirational moments and spiritual insights."

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