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Vin Diesel takes on theo-fiction movie?

I must admit, I am a Vin Diesel fan—Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick among my favorite (and I actually hate to admit it, but I liked his Kindergarten-Cop-like Pacifier too). Both Pitch Black and Riddick were laced with faith and God-talk and it looks like his latest flick Babylon A.D. may be as well (trailer above).

IMDB has the plot summary as thus:
Veteran-turned-mercenary Thoorop takes the high-risk job of escorting a woman from Russia to China. Little does he know that she is host to an organism that a cult wants to harvest in order to produce a genetically modified Messiah.
That was enough to get me interested, so I did some research on the novel from which the film is adapted. Turns out it is cyberpunk fiction—and called “theo-fiction” by the Sydney Morning Herald—by Maurice G. Dantec, who has other novels Wikipedia labels as “Christian-Futurism” (which is linked to esotericism which seems to have connections to gnosticism). Now, I’m not sure what to make of all that, heh. Any of my bloggy friends want to take a stab? Whatever the case, considering the language in the trailer above, it’s bound to have enough to bring God-talk into these open spaces.


I'm not really sure I understand the Gnostics, who got their title from the Greek for "knowledge" but seemed more than a little lost in their (ahem) knowledge.

Don't know if this is really answering the question you asked, but here's my stab at it: Gnostics gave themselves that name to differentiate themselves from people who did not have their "higher" knowledge. (Thus "esotericism," which implies that the knowledge was only understood by or available to a select few.)

According to the most recent issue of Biblical Archeology Review (in an article on the Gospel of Judas), Gnostics try to attain salvation through knowledge rather than faith.

I don't understand why people want to constantly separate faith and knowledge, as if the two were mutually exclusive i.e. "smart" people cannot therefore be people of faith.

I wish I could recall the exact words, but there is a cool interchange (Q & A) at the end of Nova episode "The Ghost Particle", in which the interviewer asks a scientist about God and science.

Just in case you'd like more info about the interview, here's the website link:
Ken Brown said…
As I understand it, the difference between Gnosticism and orthodox Christianity was not between "knowledge" (data about the world) and "faith" (belief without evidence) as people now tend to understand them, as though the Gnostics were early scientists or something like that. On the one hand, biblical faith has more to do with trust in God than anything else; on the other hand, the "knowledge" of the Gnostics was itself supposedly supernatural revelation that enabled those who possessed it to escape the physical world (which they considered evil and worthless). Ironically, when people today view faith as belief-without-evidence-that-will-get-them-to-heaven, they have more in common with the ancient Gnostics than with orthodox Christianity.

Oh, and "Gnostic" is not actually what they called themselves; it's a modern term used to describe a wide variety of groups which called themselves by various names.

As for any connections with cyberpunk fiction, that's more than I know...
Ken Brown said…
Oh yeah, and that movie looks interesting. I'm not always a fan of Vin Diesel, but The Chronicles of Riddick was pretty good, so...
Carmen Andres said…
heh, when i was in college there was this girl who used to show up to study groups without having studied and then glean all the information she needed for the tests and ace them. i kinda feel like her right now :) you guys are doing all the work, heh.

i did some more research on "christian futurism" as well and found out it can refer to what christianity will look like in the future but more often than not has to do with eschatology and end times -- and is more along the this film looks it touches on. that kind of theology can get really screwy, to the point where those who prescribe to a certain scheme of eschatology will actually try to do things to bring about the end times. and that fits a bit with the little i know about this film.

serendipitiously, james mcgrath just wrote a post up this line of thinking (focusing on the segment of folks out there who wierdly suggest that u.s. democrat nominee for president obama is the antichrist).

anyway, i got curious enough about the film to order a used copy of the book, which should get here within the next few days or so.

thanks for the input, bloggy friends!