Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Gospel According to Disney

There's an unofficial feature in this blog that looks for those "Gospel according to . . ." headlines. The latest is a useful Face to Faith from last Saturday's Guardian (I'm very behind) that particularly appeals to me as one of the very few (only?) Biblical scholars to have once worked for the Disney corporation:

The gospel according to Disney
Mark Pinsky
Good is invariably rewarded and evil punished. Faith in yourself and, more, faith in some higher power is essential. That is, faith in faith. Optimism and the Calvinist paradigm that hard work is rewarded with upward mobility complete the Disney canon. All of this is presented in a context vaguely implying western Christianity. But curiously, this is a largely secular gospel almost without God or Jesus. Salvation is attained through faith and works, not by grace. There is little explicit Judeo-Christian symbolism or substance in 70 years of Disney's animation. This despite the almost pervasive use of a theological vocabulary: words such as miracle, sacrifice, and divine. It seems a contradiction, portraying Judeo-Christian values without sectarian, or even a godly context - the fruits without the roots.
Pinsky's article is a publicity flyer for his book The Gospel According to Disney: Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust.

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