Sunday, July 4, 2010

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Gospel and Cultures // Christ and the Indigenising Principle

Full article here (PDF) // Excerpt below

By Krish Kandiah

I had my eye on Arnold Schwarzenegger as I travelled by bus from Singapore to Thailand in the summer of 1994. At that time, instead of using standardised, mass-produced film posters, each cinema would hire an artist to paint picture billboards to advertise the movies. One of the film star’s blockbusters was on general release and in Chinese-majority Singapore Schwarzenegger had distinctly Chinese facial features. On our way through Malaysia our bus passed many cinemas, all of which depicted him with a more Malay-looking disposition. When I finally made it to Thailand Schwarzenegger had a noticeably Thai appearance! It seems we want our heroes to look like us!

Upon coming home to the UK I looked through a book of images of Jesus Christ and it soon became apparent that Western Christianity had been doing the same thing for centuries with the greatest hero of all. The majority of the images of Christ, whether on canvas or on film, depict the Son of God as a blue-eyed, blonde-haired, Western male. It has sometimes been said, “God created us in his image and we have returned the compliment.” Indeed, this is what has happened.

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