2006 Merchandise & Miscellaneous News Archives

Superman

February 5, 2006: Superman Helps Children Understand Religion

It's been a topic of discussion for many years, especially since Richard Donner's "Superman: The Movie", but it now seems that schools too see the correlation between Superman and Jesus, with teachers being encouraged to use the Man of Steel to help children get a grasp on the concepts of right and wrong.

The London Telegraph newspaper published this article...

    After three decades battling to save Earth, Superman has a new mission. This time he must brighten up religious education as a modern-day model of Jesus Christ.

    Religious education teachers are being urged to make use of the fictional hero to give children an insight into morality and religious thinking.

    Research has shown that the use of films, including Star Wars, Saving Private Ryan and The Matrix, increases pupils' motivation and helps them to a better understanding of abstract concepts, says Helen Cook, of Sheffield Hallam University.

    "Teenagers visit the cinema and see films on television and DVDs so it's hardly surprising that their assessments of what is heroic and what is evil, possible or impossible, are partly based on what they watch," says Ms Cook, the head of post-graduate teacher training in religious education.

    She sees many parallels between Superman and Jesus:

    • Both arrived on Earth in unusual circumstances after being sent by their fathers.
    • Both moved from obscurity to a prominent adulthood.
    • Both were able to help humans they were sent to live with.
    • Both struggled to stand up for truth against injustice and evil.

    Ms Cook, a former religion teacher, says children who were not interested before become enthusiastic once they were given a point of reference.

    "Children aren't brought up to go to Sunday school any more and find it difficult to think about abstract concepts such as God and pre-destination, and films give them an insight," she says.



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