Mar 20, 2023
Douthat: Pantheism and “Avatar”
Russ Douthat takes on pantheism in James Cameron’s Avatar:
“It’s fitting that James Cameron’s “Avatar” arrived in theaters at Christmastime. Like the holiday season itself, the science fiction epic is a crass embodiment of capitalistic excess wrapped around a deeply felt religious message. It’s at once the blockbuster to end all blockbusters, and the Gospel According to James.
But not the Christian Gospel. Instead, “Avatar” is Cameron’s long apologia for pantheism . . .”
this movie is apparently about everything…I haven’t seen it yet but everybody is blasting it for some subtext (I have an aside coming up soon that gives another example).
Great review by Douthat, Carissa. Thanks! I’ll take these thoughts and others with me when I see the movie next week.
The beauty of the movie’s undertones is that they can be about everything, or nothing. It can be a polemic against the current war, or support for retaliating when you’ve been attacked at home. It could be about embracing pantheism and the “All Mother”, or about an Eastern Orthodox style panentheism in which the deity is connected to everything, but still other, and comes to the aid of the chosen. It could be about the joys of technology, or it’s horror. You get to decide!
The movie is really good and pulls you in. This is like stepping into another world. I do want to say that while watching the movie, the theme of earth and creation worship comes in very strongly. From a christian standpoint these things can’t be ignored. The movie refers to a diety that is a female. She is like a “mother earth” type diety. Aslo her name is God’s name backwards. Also the way that animals are all suddenly alright to be around, a picture of heaven, animals that don’t hurt you and you don’t hurt them. There are many references throughout. The statement that on earth we killed our green, we have lost our all connected diety. This is just a movie, but it is also a movie promoting worshiping creation and not the Creator. Just good to notice the trend and watch out for all the misleading things from hollywood.
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