The Gospel According to Star Wars
March 2007

Publisher: John Knox Press
Author: John C. McDowell
Cover Artist:

Cover Price: $14.95
Media: Softcover
ISBN: - 1st



1. A New Myth: The Truthfulness of Star Wars

2. Evil Strikes Back

3. Beware the Dark Side Within: The Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker

5. The Politics of Evil

6. Rebelling Against Evil: The Violence of Star Wars

7. Feeling the Force: The Ethics of the Good Life

8. A New Hope: Redemption in Star Wars


The book is a first
  • the first major treatment of all 6 Star Wars movies, which also recognises the importance of the Expanded Universe material;
  • the first major theological reading of the Star Wars movies;
  • the first book discussion of the saga that sees strong connections between these movies and the Christian heritage shaped by the thinking of Augustine of Hippo, the book challenges the view that the movies are purely neo-pagan.
The book's AIMS
  • suggest that Lucas designed Star Wars to be more than pure entertainment - instead it was also to teach morality;
  • trace the parallel between the two sets of Star Wars trilogies (yes, I do like the prequels, but for the book's discussion that is besides the point);
  • identify and explore these movies' treatment of 'the Force', good and evil. the political life, the life of virtue, violence, and hope and redemption;
  • pay attention to, and trace the development of, these themes from Episode IV (1977) to Episode III (2005);
  • provide a different reading of much of the Star Wars corpus from the generally popular ones (e.g., that it has a simplistic understanding of good and evil);
  • and highlight these themes' connections to an understanding of the good life learned from the C5th theologian Augustine of Hippo

Star Wars is one of the most beloved movie series of all time, and in this book John McDowell explores the many ethical, philosophical and spiritual themes that weave their way through the six films. From the Force to the dark side, the issues portrayed in the films have a moral and spiritual complexity that can help us better understand our place in the world and our relation to others, and even to God. Following comments made by the Star Wars saga's creator George Lucas, McDowell argues that Lucas did not intend for his films to be mere entertainment. Rather, he hoped his films would be used as a vehicle for moral education

Whether discussing the Force of Good or the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker, McDowell brings a fan's enthusiasm and a theologian's wisdom to this engaging book.

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