Below is an interview conducted by Gray Matter Books with Author/Editor Jonny Walls about the newly released title The Legend of Zelda & Theology.
GM – What made you decide to be involved with this book?
JW – I love Zelda and mythology, and the fact that Zelda’s mythology is so rich. At the end of the day it’s a fun and different way to look at theology. It’s also fun for those who like Zelda or video games in general.
GM – What about this book makes it important for people to read or be aware of?
JW – Well it could be intriguing for a lot of different people for different reasons. First, obviously, it should be interesting to people who are into video games, good storytelling, or Zelda in general, and interested or curious about theology. This is a good way for people to dip into those things for the first time. If the reader is already a Christian, this is hopefully an interesting new way to look at theology. If the person is already into theology, hopefully this will be a fresh way to approach it. It’s good for gamers and those interested in theology because it appeals to both.
GM – What do you hope readers will take away from this book after reading it?
JW – I want to dispel misconceptions about Christianity. The idea is to come to something like Zelda, which is very popular, and have it lead into Christianity in its own way. Not that we (the other contributing authors and myself) claim that Zelda is explicitly Christian, not at all. The idea is to take a rich and layered mythology like Zelda’s, which draws from all sorts of different cultures and religions, and see what happens if we look at Christianity in that framework, through that lens. But we don’t mean to superimpose Christianity onto something where it doesn’t belong. So, those who don’t know much about Christianity can get a genuine, unskewed, accurate representation of the faith in open dialogue through something like Zelda, which may be familiar to him or her. Everything isn’t as scary or oppressive as it sometimes seems. Of course, I hope that maybe some curious theologians read this and become interested in playing Zelda, as well.
GM – How do you think this can or will impact readers or our society/ pop culture in general?
JW – There are so many different possibilities. It’s going to contribute to a conversation that is already starting out. There are pop culture and philosophy books already out there on different shows, books, movies, everything you could imagine. This is going to be another angle to that discussion, taking this area of pop culture and contributing to it.
GM – How can people take what they received from the book and apply it to (or in) their lives?
JW – This can and will be different for each person. For someone who doesn’t know much about theology, he can learn a lot. For the weathered theologian, he may see a lot of familiar concepts from a different point of view. It can be fun and interesting but it will vary for every single person who reads it.