Thesis Submission Date

2010

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Religious Studies

Reader 1

Erin M. Runions

Reader 2

Gaston Espinosa

Rights Information

© 2010 Jessica Fitting

Abstract

Abstract: The science fiction films which feature the angel Gabriel (The Prophecy (1995), Van Helsing (2004), Constantine (2005), Gabriel (2007), and Legion (2010)) represent a trend in exploring specific socio-cultural issues of America. All of these films explore fears over the loss of faith in American culture in a post 9/11 society. They are comparable to the ways in which science fiction films of the 1950’s addressed fears of the Cold War. By utilizing the alien invasion plot structure from the 50’s, contemporary plots have a pre-defined structure and film language in which to explore the themes of a crisis of faith. The fallen angels featured in all these films have their textual basis in the apocalyptic Jewish text of 1 Enoch, which presents an alternate origin of evil tale to the one found in the Christian Bible, which attributes to wicked fallen angels and provides the religious archetypal themes, moral basis and story ark for the fallen angels of the films. Furthermore, the films evoke an “uncanny Other” through the use of the angel Gabriel, who is a familiar Christian figure but who is uncanny in his modern portrayals, allowing frightening fears of the loss of faith and Christian identity to be explored through a familiar figure. Finally, the fears of encountering a “Muslim Other” in a post 9/11 world, and the millennial fears of uncertainty, are the cultural factors that lead to this crisis of faith present in all of these films.

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