For those who aren't familiar with the show, LOST is a show about err...everything. It started with a plane crash where a bunch of people of broken pasts end up on a Mysterious Island together (for Mysterious Island, read: there are Smoke Monsters/Giant Polar Bears/Weird Time Travelling Occurances/People rise from the dead/Cancer and paralysis gets healed/People have pregnancy problems/the beer is subpar). On this island, some find redemption and some become a bit more broken.
The guy center, Locke (a play on the philosopher), was a cripple who ended up walking when he reached the island. Locke, throughout the story, has been one of two or three characters with which the faith conversations take place. And similar to Locke, many of the other characters have names that reveal something of who they are, what is symbolized with them. At one point, we had a character named Charlotte S. Lewis (C.S. Lewis) and there's of course Christian Shephard (who died, but the rose from the dead? His son Jack, who is to the right of Locke, finds the coffin empty). Numerous other characters have similar intertextual references.
LOST is no stranger to religion. Throughout the show they've frequently used explicit Judeo-Christian narratives (Locke possibly rising from the dead, the empty coffin of Christian Shephard, and the frequent Faith Vs. Science arguements between Locke and Jack). The show understands faith and understands how to get people talking about faith. And here's some interesting thoughts on what can be gleaned from the photo above. This was on the MTV comments board:
There's a lot to analyze with an image like this. Few things to keep in mind: This supper was held before one of Jesus' 12 apostles in the Da Vinci painting betrayed him. This scene is also told via the Gospel of John. I'm surprised you didn't cover who they represented. From left to right: Bartholomew (Illana), James (Richard), Andrew (Miles), Judas (Sayid), Peter (Kate), John (Sawyer), Jesus (Locke or Flocke), Thomas (Jack), James the Greater (Sun), Phillip (Claire), Matthew (Ben), JudeIt's been hard to avoid coverage of the promotional photo for the last season, which starts next week. It's a re-creation of Da Vinci's Last Supper with Lost characters substituting the 12 disciples. Some of the coverage has been a bit ignorant (Entertainment Weekly, I'm looking at you), where the author tried to explain a religious doctrine he clearly didn't understand.
Thaddeus (Hurley)....wait. While searching for a higher res version of this photo...I found an ALTERNATE version. Hmm. Here is what's worth discussing: Will Sayid be the Judas to F/Locke's Jesus? Jack is in the spot of Thomas, who is known for doubting Jesus' resurrection.
FUN FACT! The Last Supper — Jesus' final meal with his disciples before his crucifixion — is commemorated by Christians through the sacrament of Communion, the eating of bread and drinking of wine in remembrance of Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection. Some Christians believe that when you eat the bread and drink the wine, the stuff actually converts into the body and blood of Jesus during digestion, although their appearances remain the same. (Which explains the weird carpentry aftertaste.) This miraculous conversion is known by a fancy term: Transubstantiation, ''the conversion of one substance into another.'' Example sentence: ''If Jack's ''Jughead'' plans works, he and the castaways will be transubstantiated into a new reality.''
A clarification on Transubstantiation I received this gracious email from a reader and a More Knowledgeable Person About Transubstantiation Than I offering insight on my glib application of the concept in my recent EW.com analyzing the third and final Lost/Last Supper photo:
Jeff, Have loved your Lost column for years. I have to correct you on this, though: “Some Christians believe that when you eat the bread and drink the wine, the stuff actually converts into the body and blood of Jesus during digestion, although their appearances remain the same. (Which explains the weird carpentry aftertaste.) This miraculous conversion is known by a fancy term: Transubstantiation.”
There isn’t any Christian denomination that believes the change in substance occurs during digestion. The teaching of the Catholic Church does indeed include transubstantiation, but we believe that the change in substance occurs during the Mass when the priest says the words of consecration. From that moment on, it is bread and wine only in appearance, and the body and blood of Christ in substance. This is why Catholics practice Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, wherein we spend time in prayer before the exposed Host, which is the Real Presence of Christ, remaining so even when unconsumed. This is also why any “leftover” hosts after Mass are reserved in the tabernacle behind the altar, and Catholic are always to genuflect when passing in front of the tabernacle. Keep up the great work — looking forward to Totally Lost!Perhaps what is most interesting is the ability of a show like LOST to allow for frank discussions of issues of faith and philosophy that typically are considered private. Some interesting reading on the subject here, here, and (if you can get through some blatent prosyletizing) here.
No I haven't read them all. But I probably will.