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Cinema & The Arts as Sermons: The Theology of the X-Files (Part 1 of 2)

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Photo of Scully and Mulder
The X-Files

The Theology of the X-Files (Part 1 of 2)

Not since the Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits has there been a TV show that is written with "the ultimate reality" of life in mind.

Now I am not promoting the ET theory (you can see my opinion in articles in Spiritual Warfare & The Paranormal on this website) but the many other ideas about what this complex universe could harbor is relevant (in my opinion). The creator and the writers of the

X-Files franchise included many ideas and concepts that we are actively discussing today as real possibilities. They were ahead of their time in putting many extrapolations out before they became fodder for discussion by the masses. - Andy

Faith is Out There!

"Mulder has never been afraid to take shots at Scully’s faith, and she’s never been shy about defending it. “Nothing Lasts Forever” paid off eleven years of faith talk. At the end of the episode, Scully lights a votive candle, which gutters and goes out as Mulder walks up. She offers a wry grin and wonders,

Scully: Must be a sign. I’m all out of miracles… Mulder: I will relight your candle and extend your prayers through mine. Scully: What prayers? Mulder: I can’t tell you. They won’t come true. Scully: It’s a prayer candle, Mulder. Not a birthday cake… Prayers aren’t meant to be sentiment. It’s a conversation. You can do it like a meditation or if your needs exceed your grasp, you can ask God to act on your behalf. But you don’t believe in God so you’d essentially be talking to yourself. Mulder: I may not believe in God. But I believe in you. And therefore I speak to him through you. Through the transitive property of equality. If A=B and B=C therefore A=C. Reason and faith in harmony. Isn’t that why we’re so good together?

Mulder’s strange faith echoes that of the paralytic in Mark 2: Jesus is teaching in Capernaum, and the house is so crowded no one can reach him. Four men bring a paralyzed man to be healed, and because they cannot reach Jesus, climb onto the roof and let their friend down into the house. Mark tells us that “when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” (Mark 2:5, emphasis mine)

We are perhaps not troubled enough by this verse, by Mark’s transitive property of faith. Jesus asks nothing of the man lowered before him. He sees the man’s plea in the love of his friends, embodied in their labor and minor vandalism. His prayers come to Jesus through them..." from the article: The X-Files and the Transitive Property of Prayer

The Music

For his full interview, see

Does the X-Files Reflect America's Worldview?

"The X-Files is important because it reflects (and reflects on) the popular culture of conspiracy theory, which largely describes a worldview the majority of Americans hold. The topic of conspiracy theory also parallels my pragmatic concept of “systemic-conspiracy” — one of my core research streams. Although The X-Files is about a traditional “conspiracy of men” that ominously calls themselves “The Syndicate”, an analysis of the mythology behind the show can inform our study of systemic-conspiracy, which requires no cabal with supreme agency. Moreover, as it is argued that The X-Files is a metamodern TV show, systemic-conspiracy is a metamodern mode of analysis..." from the article: The Metamodern Mythology of The X-Files

22 Truths About The X-Files

"Is the truth really out there? The X-Files began its original nine-season run on September 10, 1993. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson returned to our televisions in 2016 to reprise their roles as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully for two new seasons, but both the network and the series' stars have said that there won't be another season. While we sit here and hold out hope that they might change their mind, here are 22 facts about the iconic series on its 25th anniversary.


Chris Carter’s interest in the paranormal was piqued when he read Pulitzer Prize-winning writer/psychiatrist/Harvard Medical School professor John E. Mack’s analysis of a 1991 Roper Poll survey, which stated that at least 3.7 million Americans may have been abducted by aliens. “Everybody wants to hear that story,” Carter told Entertainment Weekly. “[Abduction] is tantamount to a religious experience.”


When asked about his intentions in creating The X-Files, Chris Carter told Twitch that, “I'm a child of the Watergate era, so I question authority and mistrust it, that was in my blood. One of my favorite movies is All the President's Men; the most amazing thing about it, and it's watchable time and again, is that we know the outcome. Watching it, is where the entertainment value lies. So I knew I would be exploring these things, though I didn't know I would be doing it for nine years.”

In the more than 20 years since The X-Files made its premiere, Carter has cited a number of movies and television shows as helping to inspire its style and tone. Among them: Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Twin Peaks, The Thin Blue Line, Prime Suspect, Three Days of the Condor, The Parallax View, and The Silence of the Lambs.." from the article: 22 Truths About The X-Files

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