How Wonder Woman Both Perpetuates and Challenges Christian Dualism

I went to see Wonder Woman last night … for the second time.  It’s not what I would call a “great movie”, but it is great fun.  (And I have a bit of a crush on Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.)  If you want to a read a good review of the film from a Pagan perspective, check out Heather Greene’s article at The Wild Hunt, “Of gods and love: a discussion of DC’s new film Wonder Woman.”

Christian Revisionism in Wonder Woman

I have very few criticisms of the film, but one thing that jumped out at me was the characterization of the villain, Ares, the god of war.  Ares’ backstory comes near the beginning of the film.  We are told that Zeus created mankind righteous and good. But Ares, the God of War, grew envious of his father’s new creation and “poisoned their hearts with jealousy and suspicion,” encouraging them to war. That’s when Zeus created the Amazon women to influence men’s hearts with love and restore peace on earth. It worked, but only for a time, and Ares waged a war against the gods, killing them one by one, until Zeus used the last of his power to defeat Ares.

This might not be obvious to someone who is still steeped in a Christian paradigm, but to a Pagan like me, this is obviously a Christianization of Greek myth, with Zeus taking the role of the Christian God and Ares taking the role of Satan — making Wonder Woman a female Jesus.  Similar Christian revisionism can be seen in the movie Clash of the Titans and the animated movie Hercules, in which Zeus and Hades (god of the underworld) take on parallel roles. Continue reading “How Wonder Woman Both Perpetuates and Challenges Christian Dualism”

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