Thursday, November 06, 2014

Apocrypha as fanfic

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Of Scriptures and Superheroes (Philip Jenkins).
Some modern-day examples illustrate the kind of cultural curiosity that drives such a process of intertextuality and cross-referencing, although they are not ones that usually feature in Biblical or extra-Biblical scholarship. Bear with me in this thought-experiment.

Popular culture regularly produces figures or works that seize the imagination, heroes like James Bond or Batman, mythological worlds like Star Trek or Star Wars. Initially the works stand alone, but their respective worlds soon expand to include spin-offs and sequels, prequels and origin stories. Perhaps these offshoots develop the principal character and supply more information on his or her deeds, or else minor figures expand to become central to new works and series. Individual characters migrate into other genres and mythologies.