Sunday, May 18, 2008

Christian Heroes

I was invited to chat to BBC Hereford and Worcester Radio this morning about our new Spirit Mark award for Child and Youth Friendly churches which we launched on Wednesday with a presentation to the first four churches that have qualified for their bronze awards as part of a pilot scheme and received their first "Worcester Spirit Mark."

They were talking on the programme about heroes in literature, film or TV who were members of the clergy or religious people. People phoned in about Father Brown, Brother Cadfael, Father Dowling, Dom Camillo Paolo Baldi and others (I then found this site dedicated to clerical detectives!). Michael also mentioned Daredevil and Dan Dare was apparently a priest originally. It was interesting that I found myself struggling to think of any overtly fictional Christian characters who were "heroes" as such. Characters like Miss Marple were certainly Christian but not in a very obvious way. Medieval Literature has many religious characters (Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Boccacio's Decameron are chock full of em!) but not always in a flattering light which would make them heroes. More often than not they were ridiculed, caught out in compromising positions with young ladies or drunk. The Nun's Priest and the country Parson in the Canterbury Tales do go against this slightly but they are in the minority I suppose there is Christian in Pilgrim's Progress but I really was struggling.

Of course there is an element that books are often about adventures and murders and this isn't the usual place to find clerical types (except some of those above!!). What is it about holy people that might not make them central characters in novels. In the Middle Ages, the stories of saints were central to literature as they travelled around, preached, healed and performed miracles.

Any ideas people?

On the theme of detectives - I loved Dr Who last night with all the subtle references to Agatha Christie titles (They do it with mirrors, Sparkling Cyanide, The Secret Adversary, Nemesis and best of all Why didn't they ask.. Heavens!). I think I may have to watch it again to spot them all! It reminded me of Shakespeare in Love.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love Dr Who and although I didn't get all the references, I loved this episode.
I can't think of any Christian heroes, though, sorry.