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Thanos and Athanatos: Marvel’s Avengers and the Orthodox Concept of the Person

Doxacon 2019

Doxacon was founded in 2013 by Daniel Silver and Father David Subu from the Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA. Their mission is to create a place where fans of the genres of science fiction and fantasy can explore where those genres intersect with their faith. This years event was held at St. George Orthodox Church in Bethesda, Maryland, November 1-2, 2019.

November 2019

Thanos and Athanatos: Marvel’s Avengers and the Orthodox Concept of the Person

Hollywood is not known for its rich theological content, but would you have guessed that Hollywood often relies on theology in order for its movies to make sense? Take Marvel’s Infinity Wars and its sequel Endgame: the films’ villain justifies his campaign in the name of the “greater good,” yet this is the same justification that the heroes employ when giving their own lives to stop the villain. Zachary argues that the difference between the heroes and the villain lies in a concept that is unstated in the film but necessary for it to make sense: the robust concept of the human person, one which was not invented by Modernity or even by the West, but was first articulated by Orthodox Christian theologians in late antiquity.

Zachary Porcu is a professor of theology and doctoral candidate at the Catholic University of America. A church historian with a rich academic background in philosophy and classics, Zachary specializes in late antique patristics and Eastern Orthodox theology. He is the author of the forthcoming work, The Gospel You Never Heard: An Introduction to Christianity from the Perspective of the Ancients, and has written and presented extensively on Christianity’s relationship to modern culture, the secularizing effects of the Reformation, and the development of patristic thought. Zachary lives in Virginia with his wife where he enjoys coaching fencing and designing tabletop games.

November 29, 2019 Length: 47:33


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