Rediscover Cinderella’s profound Christian roots … and storyline! How do glass slippers, fairy godmothers, ash-covered princesses and a cat named Lucifer echo the biblical story of salvation?
Excerpt from episode
“… If I were to quickly retell Cinderella through the Christian framework, it would go something like this. Cinderella symbolises fallen humanity, with our true dignity covered over by the ashes of sin. We are held captive by the vanity and vices of the world, represented by the wicked stepfamily (who have a cat named Lucifer). The prince stands in the place of Christ, who takes the initiative to reach out to us and love us back into our original dignity. If we choose to respond to the prince’s invitation, supernatural grace is given to us—symbolised by the fairy godmother. Like Cinderella and the prince at the ball, there is a fleeting connection with God in our limited time here, but we sooner flee his presence, ashamed that our true unworthy selves might be rejected. Jesus as the prince then proves that we needn’t feel unworthy, and proves this to us by lavishly clothing the part of us we are most ashamed of, symbolised by the foot and the glass slipper. Finally, Christ betroths us and marries us, taking us into his kingdom. Blessings are poured out on friend and foe alike and for eternity, all live happily ever after. Can you see how the general story arc of Perrault’s Cinderella is faithfully Christian? Not to mention the explicit detail of a godmother right? But anyway, let’s now dive into each section and explore it in more detail… “
My Masters of Theology Thesis:
Mythology, Fairytale and the New Evangelisation
My thesis can be accessed here as a PDF. The section mentioned in the episodes is on Page 21.
If you’re interested in the thesis as a whole … yay! It’s a fascinating read, especially if you’re a Myth Pilgrim devotee!! Here is the introduction paragraph to whet your appetite:
“This paper will examine how the study of mythology and fairytales can enrich Catholic theology, and suggest implications this has for the New Evangelisation. The paper will be constructed in five sections. The first section will assess the place of narrative within broader Catholic theology and appraise the significance of narrative—and its limitations—in articulating the Gospel. The second section will define key terminology used for the rest of the paper. The terms I will define are (i) myth (ii) fairytale (iii) the New Evangelisation and (iv) secular. The third section will examine the relationship between myth/fairytale and the Post-Christendom west. In this section there will be a special focus on the history and significance of metanarrative within western culture. This will then lead to section four, which will demonstrate five ways Post-Christendom’s ongoing attraction to myth/fairytale could be understood as a reaching for the Christian metanarrative. This hypothesis will be illustrated by examining their re-occurring themes of (i) the hero’s journey (ii) royalty exiled from their kingdoms (iii) a moral universe (iv) the happy ending and (v) divine providence. Having proposed this, I will in the final section suggest three implications these findings create for the propagation of the Gospel in the New Evangelisation. I will then sum up the thesis in a few concluding remarks.”