Looking for Revelation

It’s the end of the world for Denzel Washington in The Book of Eli, one of the legion of recent films (including one actually titled Legion) that suggest that while the earth may be ending, don’t worry—a People magazine cover star is just dying to save us. Eli has Denzel carrying an ancient book (no prize for guessing which one) across a barren former United States; he knows it’s important to get the book somewhere safe, because a voice told him so. Carnegie, Eli’s opposite number on this post-cataclysmic gospel tour, played with demented glee by Gary Oldman, wants the book too, because he knows that religion, when marshaled in the service of politics, can be used to control people. The goal of peace and harmony among folk is important enough that Eli and Carnegie will shoot, slice, or explode anyone who gets in their way. (When I was young, our attempts at rebirthing humanity looked different—so much for handing out evangelistic tracts.)

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Sojourners Magazine April 2010
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