Films Philosophy

Avatar and the Romantic Temptation

In this episode of Literary Tales, we examine the myths and symbols of James Cameron’s “Avatar” and deconstruct the film as promoting Romanticism against the Enlightenment worldview of technological progress.


Hesiod, Paul Krause in real life, is the editor of VoegelinView and a writer on art, culture, literature, politics, and religion for numerous journals, magazines, and newspapers. He is the author of The Odyssey of Love and the Politics of Plato, and a contributor to the College Lecture Today and the forthcoming book Diseases, Disasters, and Political Theory. He holds master’s degrees in philosophy and theology (biblical & religious studies) from the University of Buckingham and Yale, and a bachelor’s degree in economics, history, and philosophy from Baldwin Wallace University.


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    1. Unfortunately I did not. Though that is another great sci-fi film. But it largely falls, I believe, in the same themes and dialectical progression that I was discussing with the various other films. The UFO is the spiritual reality coming into the material world to bring the “New Jerusalem,” like Star Wars, Close Encounters attacks the techno-governmental tyranny (US Government) with a mythic yearning for a spiritual power (the aliens) coming to bring about human salvation (the invitation to join them), etc.

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