Ironic Faith in Monty Python

  • Author(s): Steven A. Benko
  • When: 2012-04
  • Where: Journal of Religion & Film
  • Monty Python’s Life of Brian tells the story of Brian, a contemporary of Jesus whose life becomes chaotic when he is mistaken for a messiah. Standard comedic devices are used to mock and ridicule those who use their authority or office to claim that they are more than human. In this case, laughter humbles those individuals and brings them back to the human community. Second, an ironic faith perspective allows the Pythons to assert that it is up to each individual to define the meaning of his/her own life. While some interpretations of ironic faith suggest the possibility of an ethical response to the perception of the gap between what is and what ought to be, the vision of the absurd in Life of Brian is focused more on the individual than on the community. The end result of an ironic faith is not a call to change the world but inclusion in a community of people who share the same ironic vision.

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