Monday, January 07, 2013
Jean Valjean, a.k.a. 24601, a.k.a. Monsieur le Mayor, is a man reborn twice by grace and redemption. First when he is given a new life by the priest who meets him with love and mercy, and second when he shows love and mercy to his adopted daughter Cosette.
I am not a fan of musicals, but this story is rich and the music (with the exception of perhaps one or two songs that are bit "show-tune-ish") is deep enough and powerful enough to craft the epic tone. I endure the musical because I believe Jean Valjean is a super-hero. He has super-strength (seriously) and although reluctant at times, he rescues people and he is merciful. He always fights for a higher power and his cause is just, or it at least becomes God's work.
Richard Beck has written an excellent article that defines Valjean as an alternative to the politics and religion of both the left and the right. So, with that I give you Dr. Beck and his Experimental Theology . . .