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Heroes and Villains

By Mike Alsford

Heroes and Villains
Paperback, 172 pages $29.95
Published: 31st January 2007
ISBN: 9781932792928
Format: 8.5in x 5.5in

Subjects: All Ethics , All Philosophy, All Theology

Hercules, Jesus, James Bond, Luke Skywalker, Gandalf, Frodo, Harry Potter, Buffy Summers, Spiderman, Batman, Captain Kirk, Dr. Who, Darth Vader, Sauron, Voldemort, Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom, the Daleks, the Borg. Almost anybody living in the developed West would be able to group these individuals into two camps: the heroes and the villains. However, what criteria they may use to do this is less clear.

Mike Alsford introduces us to a range of heroic and villainous archetypes on a journey through film, television, comic books, and literature. On the way, he addresses questions such as: What is a true hero? What is a true villain? Have we misunderstood these terms? What kind of societal values do our mythical heroes and villains represent? In trying to understand the extremes of hero and villain we are made more aware of our own ethical standards and given a space in which to explore contemporary concerns over notions of right and wrong, good and bad.


1. Myth and Imagination

2. The Outsider: Heroes and Otherness

3. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

4. Villains, Monsters and Evil Masterminds

5. Conclusion


Further Reading and Viewing

Index of Selected Thinkers and Authors

Index of Selected Heroes and Villains

Index of Selected Themes and Subjects

Mike Alsford is Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of Greenwich, London.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 172 pages
 8.5in x 5.5in

  PHI005000, REL051000
 Baylor University Press

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