Several movies are coming out with a common theme that reveals the rising popularity of spiritism in our culture.
The previous century was the hallmark of modernism where science and materialism was supposed to be the end all and answer to all of mankind’s problems. Examples of modernism in the culture would be things like Sherlock Holmes or Scooby Doo, where, due to people’s superstitions, they believe that something supernatural is taking place. However, the scooby gang comes along and unmasked the villain who is really using some kind of technology to fool people.
After two world wars, people have become disillusioned with the concept that modernism, science alone, and materialism can solve all their problems. Hence, the rise of “post-modernism”, which reintroduces the supernatural into culture.
What we see in many of the movies coming out in early 2011 are examples of skeptical modernists having to come to terms with confrontations with the supernatural.
(Please note I have not seen the movies referenced below nor recommend anyone see them, this commentary on societal trends is based only on press releases made by the producers.)
In “Season of the Witch”, Nicolas Cage’s character, Behmen, is a disillusioned knight, who questions his own faith, returning home from the crusades to find his homeland ravaged with the plague. He is given the task of escorting a girl accused of witchcraft to what will probably be her death. Behmen doubts that witchcraft even exists, but later is confronted with and has to fight against the supernatural.
In a similar vein “The Rite” involves a seminary student, Kovak, who has doubts about faith and the supernatural, believing that things like possession by evil spirits are really psychiatric problems that should be dealt with using medical treatment. He is then confronted with very “real” manifestations of the supernatural and possession by evil spirits that are dealt with using exorcism.
Both of these examples show a trend of converting skeptics into believers in the supernatural, and then the heroes fighting evil using their “faith” and inner strength.
This is the new age, emergent spiritism, where seeking supernatural experiences and seeking out your own “inner star” are the promoted practices.
Of course, evil can only be defeated by Jesus. Faith in anything else is idolatry.