Sunday, September 9, 2018

Comic Book Theology: Hellblazer

A recent issue of the DC Comics title The Hellblazer contained this panel, which contained an interesting take on afterlife theology. Or at least John Constantine's understanding of theology. 


The statement "the great faiths will tell you the dirty flesh is just a vessel ... " is an inaccurate (although common) description of what orthodox historical Christianity teaches. As a matter of fact, this dualistic approach ("spirit is good, flesh is bad") is much more closer to Gnosticism, as heresy that was dealt with in the very early days of church, and dismissed as not having a plae in Christianity. 

Despite the anti-gnostic statements that fill the book of 1 John, there are places in the modern church where the heresy of gnosticism rears its ugly head.

All of that is to say this: Don't look to comic books for your theology. And most of all, don't look to John Constantine for your theology.


  1. I had to explain to one of my old high school classmates that this concept is heresy when he used the quotation, "You don’t have a soul…You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily." from the novel A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter Miller, Jr., to support his views on death and the afterlife. Even after 12 years of Catholic schooling, he thought that this was good Catholic theology. I know several of our teachers would have been terribly saddened by this belief.

  2. The Church has waaaayyyyy too much Gnosticism in it.

  3. It seems, to me, especially odd for a Catholic. In describing the Nature of Jesus as "True God and true man", we use a phrase, "Body and Blood; Soul and Divinity", which I think makes it obvious that He is, in his human nature, which we share, both body and soul.