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Superman is now a religious guide

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Superman and he's bringing his otherworldly powers to British schools to teach kids about Christianity.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2006 21:03 IST
AFP
AFP
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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Superman and he's bringing his otherworldly powers to British schools to teach godless children about Christianity.

Religious education teachers were being encouraged to use the cartoon superhero as a modern-day model for Jesus Christ to give youngsters an insight into morality and religious thinking, the Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday.

"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," said academic Helen Cook.

The former RE teacher, now head of post-graduate teacher training at Sheffield Hallam University in northern England, told the newspaper there were many parallels between the "Man of Steel" and Jesus:

Both were sent by their fathers to Earth and arrive in mysterious circumstances.
Both achieve prominent adulthoods after an obscure childhood.
Both help the human beings they are sent to live with.
Both are champions of truth and goodness over injustice and evil.

Cook argued that children only became interested in a subject once they were given an identifiable point of reference but with church attendance on the wane, it was increasingly difficult to explain the basic tenets of faith.

The Church of England's spokesman on religious education, John Gay, was quoted as saying that analogies could be highly effective as a teaching technique but only if used carefully.

First Published: Feb 04, 2006 21:03 IST