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”On the Side of the Angels?”: Representationer av kristendomar i TV-serien Arkiv X
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
”On the Side of the Angels?” : Representations of Christianities on the television series The X-Files (English)
Abstract [sv]

The X-Files (svensk titel Arkiv X) är en TV-serie som producerades mellan 1993-2002. Serien har gått till historien för att fånga tidsandan och dess postmoderna misstro mot myndigheter och intresse för nyandlighet. I ett flertal avsnitt kommer huvudpersonerna i kontakt med den kristna religionen. Uppsatsen undersöker hur olika former av kristendom gestaltas i The X-Files. Frågeställningen berör de bikaraktärer som dyker upp i serien och som kan beskrivas som representationer av kristendomar. Genom närläsningar av sex avsnitt nås följande resultat:

Generellt sett kan man inte säga att framställningen av kristna är uteslutande positiv eller negativ. Den är mångfacettered, vilket stämmer väl överens med TV-seriens postmoderna och ”livsåskådningsfragmentariska” natur. En vanligt förekommande stereotyp är protestantiska fundamentalister, som kan visa sig vara goda karaktärer eller charlataner.  Den katolska kyrkan framställs som en liberal kyrka vars främsta roll är terapeutisk och katolicismen framställs som den normativa, sansade och vanliga formen av kristendomen.

The X-Files bryter mot en hel del stereotyper som förekommer i amerikansk film och TV. Trots att fundamentalisten har en framträdande roll så framställs den ofta i slutändan i en relativt positiv dager. Skräckfilmsstereotypen där katolska präster tampas med det övernaturliga bryter serien också mot, och låter protestantiska karaktärer ha dessa roller istället. The X-Files lyfter fram positiva och negativa aspekter hos såväl fundamentalism som mer liberal kristendom. Med det konstaterat så är slutsatsen ändå att den kristendomsform som får mest utrymme i serien är fundamentalistisk.

Abstract [en]

The X-Files is a television show that was produced between the years 1993-2002 . The series has gone down in history for capturing the zeitgeist of the 1990s with its postmodern distrust of authorities and its interest in new forms of spirituality. In several episodes, the main characters come in contact with the Christian religion. This thesis examines how different forms of Christianity were portrayed in The X-Files. The questions asked concerns the secondary characters that are featured individual episodes of the series and can be described as representations of different form of Christianity. Through close readings of six episodes the following results were discovered:

Generally speaking, one cannot say that the portrayal of Christians is exclusively positive or negative. It is multifaceted, which is in line with postmodern nature of the show. A common stereotype is the Protestant fundamentalist, which can prove to be good characters as well as charlatans. The Catholic Church is portrayed as a liberal church whose primary role is therapeutic and Catholicism is presented as the normative form of Christianity.

The X-Files contradict a lot of stereotypes that exist in American film and television. Although fundamentalists have a prominent role, they often end up as portrayed in a relatively positive way. The common horror stereotype where Catholic priests struggle with the supernatural, is also one with which the series break, and instead Protestant characters are given these roles. The X-Files highlight the positive and negative aspects of both fundamentalist and liberal Christianity. Even so the form of Christianity that gets the most screen time in the series is fundamentalist.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 45 p.
Keyword [en]
The X-Files, film and religion, television, popular culture, religion
Keyword [sv]
Arkiv X, film och religion, TV, populärkultur, religion
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-30938OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-30938DiVA: diva2:689024
Subject / course
Religious Studies and Theology
Educational program
Teacher education
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2014-02-04 Created: 2014-01-19 Last updated: 2014-02-04Bibliographically approved

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