Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Why I love Spider-Man …

Spider-Man and God

… the comic, not the character. The character is very happily married, thank you very much.

Yesterday I bought a copy of The Sensational Spider-Man number 40. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since Pete tipped me off that it was on its way. In this issue Peter Parker confronts God.

Peter isn’t having a good time of it. Having “come out” as Spider-Man during the Civil War (ie “War on Terror” allegory), Peter finds his life as “Peter Parker” invaded by enemies of “Spider-Man”. His Aunt May was (literally) caught in the crossfire and is now lying in a coma. Unable to cope, Peter goes on a rampage against a dumpster and finds himself talking to God about the meaning of human suffering.

God gives the “Job” defence

And God pretty much gives the “Job” defence!

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements – surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

“Or who shut the sea with doors when it burst from the womb? – when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped?” (Job 38:4-11).

And so on and so forth for a couple of chapters. Basically, the cosmos is beyond your understanding, but I made it. Trust me.

Then God goes on to give the “Crucified God” defence – humanity experiences no suffering that God did not experience God-self as the Incarnate One. See Jurgen Moltmann’s fabulous book for further details.

The Crucified God

Since these two “defences” together make up my theodicy I’m pretty impressed that they’ve made their way into the pages of Spider-Man comics.

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September 1, 2007 - Posted by | Pop Culture

2 Comments »

  1. I’m always keen to learn new words, so thank you for ‘theodicy.’ I discover it means: “the justification of God and divine providence in view of the existence of evil.” From the Greek ‘theos’ meaning ‘god’ + ‘dike’ meaning ‘justice’.

    Comment by Olivia | September 1, 2007 | Reply

  2. And people claim that pop culture is ‘low’ culture!

    Comment by Pete | September 3, 2007 | Reply


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