Violence, Utopia, and the Kingdom of God: Fantasy and Ideology in the Bible

Violence, Utopia, and the Kingdom of God: Fantasy and Ideology in the Bible

Violence, Utopia, and the Kingdom of God: Fantasy and Ideology in the Bible

Violence, Utopia, and the Kingdom of God: Fantasy and Ideology in the Bible

Synopsis

This controversial book explores the presence of the fantastic in Biblical and related texts, and the influence of Biblical traditions on contemporary fantasy writing, cinema, music and art.The contributors apply a variety of critical concepts and methods from the field of fantasy studies, including the theories of Tolkien, Todorov, Rosemary Jackson and Jack Zipes, to Biblical texts and challenge theological suppositions regarding the texts which take refuge in science or historiography. Violence, Utopia and the Kingdom of God presents a provocative and arresting new analysis of Biblical texts which draws on the most recent critical approaches to provide a unique study of the Biblical narrative.

Excerpt

Preface

The spectacle and sacred nature of everyday fantasy and everyday violence

Jack Zipes

We speculate with the fantastic. Spectacles violate our imaginations. the media and the corporate world seek to occupy our psyches and to manipulate our fantasies. Simultaneously, we project our fantasies onto reality and seek to occupy a space in which our most profound wishes and desires can be realized. in each instance-in the tension between corporate domination of the fantastic and individual projection of desire-we anchor our understanding of reality in the Bible and in fairy tales. Hence, Mother Theresa the saint. Diana the fairy-tale princess.

It is through fantasy that we have always sought to make sense of the world, not through reason. We have imagined gods, the kingdom of God, the miraculous feats of divine and semi-divine characters, and the commandments that have been established to lead us to the good life. It is through the fiction of our imaginations that we have sought to alter reality. This is why the Bible and certain fantasy literature are sacred texts: unlike reality, they open the mysteries of life and reveal ways in which we can maintain our

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