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A decent but hardly great look at religion in The Matrix...
on December 1, 2004
Since the first of the Matrix films came out, there's been plenty of talk about the religious paralells in it- Neo as Christ, Trinity as Mary Magdelene, Morpheus as John the Baptist, Cypher as Judas, etc, and it's theme of death, resurrection, and liberation. In The Gospel Reloaded, Seay tries to piece these together in a theologically consistent whole, but never seems to approach the matter with any depth.
While he discusses many interesting theological implications in The Matrix and it's sequels, there are many interesting points that he misses. For instance, what is the significance of the Merovingian and Persephone? (This is touched on, but never seriously looked at) Who is the Architect? What is the meaning of Trinity's death, return to life- and subsequent death? And, most glaring of all, Seay tries to argue that Cypher is not only Judas, but the "Satan" figure of the movie as while- while never confronting what Agent Smith's role is in all of this. On top of that, the author tries to see everything in terms of Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey", while ignoring the many implications of this story.
While I can tepidly recommend this book, I also recommend supplementing it with a few other resources- David Brin's article on The Matrix (as well as his articles on the hero's journey and it's implications in Star Wars and Lord of the Rings) at [...] and the commentary tracks available on the boxed DVD edition of the Matrix trilogy (with Ken Wilber and Cornel West)- Ken provides a unique spiritual interpretation of The Matrix which doesn't entirely correspond with that of Seay, but fuels much food for thought.