Henry Luce Foundation
Luce Partner Institutions
The World as an Island: Lost and the Intersection of Religion and Politics
This case study explores the ways in which the popular
television drama Lost can serve as a backdrop for discussing three
key issues in the intersection of religion and politics: the problem of
Othering, the process of constructing religio-political identities, and
the matter of religiously motivated or justified violence. Politics and
religion are two sides of a cultural coin, as both involve power and
stimuli for social action, though from different angles. On Lost, just
as in reality, religion and politics weave in and out of each other. The
show operates at both the center of popular culture and in a space
between, reflective and referential, inviting viewers to make
connections and peel back layer after layer as they watch week
after week. A brief discussion of Lost will be followed by an in-depth
look at a single episode.
On the surface, the plot of Lost is quite simple. En route
to Los Angeles from Australia, Oceanic Flight 815 crashes on a tropical
island, and the survivors are left to fend for themselves. They struggle to
stay alive in an unfamiliar environment and face the equally challenging
task of functioning as a community. Encounters with other inhabitants of the
island result both in hope for rescue and violent tragedy. The island itself
is mysterious, both paradise and nightmare. Eventually, rescue does come for
a small number of the survivors. However, the fates of both those supposedly
rescued and those who remain on the island continue to be uncertain.
This simple storyline is constantly cast into chaos. Lost
is full of plot twists and turns, and each episode follows multiple
storylines on the island while also adding a flashback or flash-forward
story that relates specifically to one major character or another. These
flashbacks serve multiple purposes: fleshing out key characters,
revealing significant connections that existed between survivors before
the plane crash, and helping to solve some mysteries of the island while
revealing others. The layering of the stories and the intricacy with
which they interrelate makes recounting a more detailed plotline
difficult if not impossible (a primary reason this case study will focus
primarily on a single episode).
Lost has been wildly successful not merely in viewership,
but also in viewer response. Approximately 15.5 million American viewers
currently tune in every Thursday night to watch the mysterious dramas
unfold on Lost, and the show has been ranked as the second most popular
television program in the world. Watching the television show is only
the beginning, however. The producers of the show have made a concerted
effort to engage viewers on multiple levels in the form of podcasts,
Internet sites, web games, tie-in novels, and the like. A game called
The Lost Experience ran during the summer between the second and third
seasons, allowing fans to participate in an Internet scavenger hunt to
uncover answers to questions and more questions. The DVDs of each season
include extra features designed to supplement the show. The show’s
official website offers a book club, encouraging fans to pursue the
literary connections featured prominently on the show. ABC airs
commercials for fictional companies that play key roles in Lost
plotlines to spur fan interest by blurring the line between fiction and
reality. Added to the mix are fan sites and products. A site based on
the Wikipedia model, Lostpedia, offers a comprehensive resource for fans
and newcomers alike—and it is created and updated by fans.
Moreover, Lost’s success comes from the fact that, despite the special
effects and dramatic plot twists, the show is fundamentally an
extravagant character study, a show about people. The characters that
drive the show, from the crash survivors to the mysterious previous
inhabitants of the island, make up a complicated group. A wide range of
ethnicities, religious affiliations, and nationalities find
representation among them. Several characters are white Americans of the
sort who often populate television: Jack Shephard, a handsome surgeon
who believes only in science; Kate Austen, a beautiful woman with a
criminal past; John Locke, a man who is miraculously healed by the
powers of the island; James “Sawyer” Ford, a surly con-man; Juliet
Burke, a doctor who is manipulated into coming to the island to work for
a enigmatic man named Benjamin Linus. But there are also Sun-Hwa and
Jin-Soo Kwon, a Korean couple with a rocky relationship; Eko Tunde, an
African warlord and drug smuggler who also happens to be a Catholic
priest; and Sayid Jarrah, an Iraqi Muslim who has left behind his life
as a soldier to search for his childhood sweetheart. Michael Dawson and
his son, Walt, a boy who seems to have paranormal abilities, are
African-Americans, as is Rose, an older woman who has been cured by the
island like Locke. Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, an overweight lottery winner who
believes himself cursed by a plague of bad luck, and Ana-Lucia Cortez, a
former police officer with a fierce temper, are both Hispanic. Claire
Littleton, who is eight months pregnant when the plane crashes and gives
birth to a son on the island, is Australian. Charlie Pace, a washed-up
rock star from a one-hit wonder band, is British. Desmond Hume, who
crashed his boat on the island years before of the passengers of Oceanic
815 end up there, is Scottish. Danielle Rousseau is a French woman who
was a member of a scientific research team that landed on the island in
1988; the other team members are dead and she has been surviving on her
own there for nearly sixteen years.
Many of the characters have names which call to mind prominent
philosophers, scientists, and thinkers: John Locke, Desmond Hume,
Danielle Rousseau, Juliet and Edmund Burke—the list goes on.
Philosophical conundrums and themes abound in the various plotlines:
free will vs. determinism, the mind-body connection, the question of how
time operates, etc. There is a particular emphasis on problems in
political philosophy and Enlightenment debates over social organization,
democracy, and the relationship between nature and civilization. On
Lost, political issues come up both in the internal group dynamics of
the Oceanic 815 survivors and in the conflicts that arise between
different factions on the island (such as Linus’ band of followers).
Religious issues and themes are equally as prominent. The show is rife
with biblical allusions, as well as references to everything from Greek
mythology to shamanism. Religious symbols are visually obvious and
characters talk about religion openly. New Age spirituality makes
frequent appearances in the form of psychics, numerology, tarot reading,
and the like. More conventional faiths and practices are also common:
Sayid is a devout Muslim, Desmond once studied to be a monk, and several
characters are Catholic.
There is also a religious dimension to the island itself. The religion
of the island is not a formalized institution, but rather refers to the
intense spiritual and metaphysical pull the island exerts on certain
individuals and to the manner in which those individuals respond to that
force. Linus and many of his followers have a particularly strong
relationship to the “religion” of the island, as do characters like John
Locke. For these devotees of the island “religion,” their passionate
dedication draws together issues of power, belief, and both material and
Lost is therefore a particularly good example of the popular potential
of the layering of media. It is television for the new millennium:
interactive, multivocal, and multifaceted. Yet the genius of the program
is that while one could easily devote a forty-hour week to diving into
all the Lost paraphernalia, it is also possible to simply watch the show
once a week in a more traditional model of viewing television and still
enjoy the experience. Viewers can focus on the action and drama, but can
also pay particular attention to the characters and how they deal with
philosophical, religious, and political issues. Lost can engage on a
number of different levels, which is a crucial component to its success.
Though a more in-depth analysis is possible by viewing Lost in its
entirety, examining a single key episode can begin a number of
conversations about significant issues in religion and politics. This
discussion will focus on the 13th episode of the third season, titled
“The Man From Tallahassee.” In this episode, the explosion of a
submarine invites questions about religious violence, the power struggle
between two men opens up a discussion of religio-political identities,
and the shifting allegiances of various characters highlight the problem
The second season of Lost closes with three of the main characters (Kate
Austen, Jack Shephard, and James “Sawyer” Ford) taken captive by the
mysterious group the Oceanic 815 survivors simply call “the Others.” In
the first several episodes of the third season, Kate, Jack, and Sawyer
are subjected to a variety of tests, experiments, and tortures, all
designed to eventually coerce Jack (a talented surgeon) to perform
life-saving back surgery on Benjamin Linus, the leader of the Others.
With the help of one of the Others, named Juliet, and due to a clever
plot devised by Jack, Kate and Sawyer are able to escape. Jack bargains
with Ben to win his own freedom, not just from the Others, but also from
the island. Juliet also convinces Ben to allow her to leave.
After Kate and Sawyer escape from the Others’ compound, Kate is wracked
with guilt and concern for Jack’s well-being, since she is unaware of
the deal he made with Ben to leave the island. Once Kate and Sawyer
arrive back at the Oceanic 815 survivors’ camp, she immediately
persuades Sayid, a former soldier, to aid her in rescuing Jack. Danielle
Rousseau, the French woman, decides to accompany Kate and Sayid, because
the Others have her daughter.
Locke also volunteers to go along, ostensibly to help save Jack.
However, his true intention is to sabotage a submarine, which he has
discovered the Others’ use to travel to and from the island. “The Man
From Tallahassee” opens with Kate, Sayid, Rousseau, and Locke reaching
the Others’ base camp.
Locke immediately separates from his companions and seeks out Ben.
Rousseau also separates from them in order to look for her daughter. The
Others quickly capture Kate and Sayid, despite their efforts to go
unnoticed. Jack comes to speak with Kate and tells her about his deal
with Ben. She is incredulous and angry. She accuses him of abandoning
the other Oceanic 815 survivors. He tries to reassure her, but she
remains unconvinced. Juliet eventually comes to take him to prepare for
their voyage home. Kate and Juliet have a history of antagonism from the
period of time that Juliet was Kate’s captor and jealousy over their
competing relationships with Jack; Juliet’s appearance only makes Kate
Meanwhile, Locke finds Ben in bed, recovering from surgery. Locke asks
Ben to tell him where the submarine is docked. Ben initially refuses,
but then his daughter, Alex, comes into the room unexpectedly. Locke
threatens her and forces her to fetch his bag (which the Others captured
along with Sayid) while he holds Ben hostage. While Alex leaves to
retrieve the bag, Ben questions Locke about Locke’s own miraculous
recovery. They also discuss Locke’s plans to destroy the submarine. Ben
tells Locke about his deal with Jack and asks him not to blow up the
sub. Once Alex returns, however, Locke insists that Ben tell her to take
him to the submarine. Ben acquiesces, and on the way to the submarine
Alex warns Locke that Ben might have been manipulating him.
Locke takes little interest in her counsel. Once Alex has led Locke to
the submarine, he immediately takes action to destroy the vessel. It
explodes as Jack and Juliet arrive at the dock to board the submarine
and leave the island. The Others immediately take Locke captive. Jack
and Juliet are both enraged and deeply disappointed, as both of them
viewed the submarine as their one chance to return to their lives off
Ben is actually delighted with this turn of events, and comes to taunt
Locke. He reveals that he wanted Locke to destroy the submarine all
along, since he wanted to find a way to force Jack and Juliet to stay on
the island without making it appear to his followers that he had broken
his word. As the episode closes, Ben seems to have won the upper hand,
since Locke, Sayid, and Kate have all been captured and Jack and Juliet
have no means by which to leave.
“The Man From Tallahassee” thus showcases a particularly explosive
moment; a piece of the larger puzzle that is the conflict between the
Oceanic 815 survivors and the Others and the quest to solve the
mysteries of the island. This conflict is manifested in the struggle
between Locke and Ben, as well as in the subtler conflict between Jack,
Kate, and Juliet.
A key component of many religio-political conflicts is the problem of “othering;”
that is, the exoticizing and/or dehumanizing of one group of people by
another. Such a move leads to a reductive and polarized relationship,
typically characterized by one-dimensional “us-versus-them” rhetoric.
Historian of religion Jonathon Z. Smith has written extensively about
the problem of the “other” in religion. He suggests that human beings
are fundamentally concerned with notions of boundary and categorization,
and that such concerns are inherently part of how humans construct their
own identities and their relationships with other humans. As can be
clearly seen in the moniker “the Others,” Otherness operates as a key
conceptual framework for Lost. Survivors describe the Others as
“animals.” Lost, however, reinforces the constructed nature of Otherness
and rigorously calls the category into question, exposing the
ambiguities and contradictions inherent in such divisions.
When Jack speaks with Kate after the Others have imprisoned her during
her attempt to rescue him, she speaks bitterly and accusatorily. “So
you’re with them now,” she says. Jack replies with some weariness, “I’m
not ‘with’ anyone, Kate.” Kate has had bad experiences with the Others,
unquestionably. Still, the Others remain fundamentally a mystery to her.
She does not know who they are or what their project is. She knows none
of them as individuals and sees all of them as part of a monolithic
enemy. To her, “us-versus-them” rhetoric is all that makes sense.
Jack, on the other hand, has had a very different set of encounters with
the Others, and most especially with Juliet. He has also had a different
relationship with the Oceanic 815 survivors than Kate has. He rejects
the simple division of “us-versus-them” because he has had the
opportunity to see some pieces of a bigger picture. While Jack clearly
views Ben as an enemy and harbors no great fondness for many of Ben’s
followers, he has seen that the Others are not a perfectly homogeneous
Juliet’s character is a significant case in point in this regard, as she
is a primary reason Jack begins to see the Others in a more complicated
way. When the audience first encounters her, she is aiding Ben in his
imprisonment and torture of Jack, Sawyer, and Kate. She oversees Sawyer
and Kate as they are forced to do seemingly pointless manual labor to
physically wear them down. Sawyer describes her as capable of murder
with only the slightest provocation and the audience cannot help but
agree. Juliet seems very much the epitome of an Other: without feeling
or sentiment, ruthless and calculating. She is absolutely different and
separate, from the crash survivors and almost from humanity.
Over time, however, through seeing more of her interactions with people
on the island and in learning more about her life before the island
through flashbacks, the audience learns that Juliet is not so easily
pigeonholed. Once, she was an idealistic young scientist, devoted to
finding a cure for her sister’s infertility. Ben lured her to the island
under false pretenses and forced her to stay there against her will. She
despises him for what he has done to her and what she has seen him do to
other people (for instance, he engineers the kidnapping of several
children from the Oceanic 815 group). She desperately wants to leave the
island just as the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors do. Slowly a complicated
figure emerges, one who is not a member of the survivors’ group, but one
who cannot always be an Other, either. Her loyalties are divided and
complex, her motivations not always clear. She becomes in fact, almost
more threatening because she is revealed to be all too human.
Moreover, Juliet is fully cognizant of these many sides of herself, and
the show is willing to even poke fun at her contested “Otherness.” In a
later episode from the fourth season, “The Other Woman,” Jack questions
Juliet about a strange woman they have seen in the jungle.
JACK: That woman--what was her name?
JACK: The two of you friends?
JULIET: Not exactly. She was my therapist.
JACK: You people had therapists?
JULIET: It’s very stressful being an Other, Jack.
In this statement, which Juliet makes wryly but sincerely,
the audience is invited to consider a number of issues. Juliet knows she
is separate from Jack and his group, and that they see her as part of
the Others. Yet she has an ambiguous relationship with her status as an
Other and has suffered great personal costs because of her involvement
with them. Her off-hand remark is comical but accurate: being one of the
“Others” is not painless, nor is it straightforward.
Also complicated are the religious and political identities and actions
of the people on the island. “The Man from Tallahassee” makes vividly
clear that the “religion of the island” exerts tremendous influence over
both Ben and Locke, who are locked in a political and religious rivalry.
Both men feel they have claim to deeply spiritual connections to the
island. At several points over the course of the show, Ben explicitly
insists that he and his group are the “good guys.” Locke sees his
miraculous recovery as only the first link in a chain of evidence that
proves the island is speaking to him. Ben’s second-in-command, Richard,
seems to confirm this when he tells Locke that he is “special.”
When Ben and Locke clash, they often use religiously charged language to
accuse and challenge the other. During their conversation as they wait
for Alex to bring Locke’s bag and then lead him to the submarine, Locke
accuses Ben: “You’re a hypocrite! A Pharisee. You don’t deserve to be on
this island. If you had any idea what this place really was . . . ” Ben
sees Locke as a naïve interloper, while Locke sees Ben as an arrogant
fool who cares more about power and comfort than serving the interests
of the island.
Both men struggle to construct themselves identities as political
leaders of the island by highlighting the quasi-religious bonds they
have with the island. The real “leader” of the island is supposedly a
mysterious entity named “Jacob,” a man only Ben could communicate
with—until Locke arrived on the scene, that is. The battle between the
two men is as much about who speaks for the island, who is Jacob’s
prophet, and who is the island’s true savior as much as anything. Ben’s
position and power was hard-won; Locke threatens both.
Significantly, the show never reduces Ben or Locke to having only one
driving motivation, however. Ben has a daughter about whom he cares very
much (though in fact she is not biologically his; he stole her from
Rousseau when she was a baby). Through Locke’s back stories, the
audience sees he has a long, troubled relationship with his father (Ben
in fact suggests that Locke’s devotion to the island is a front for his
deeper issues with his father). These personal relationships are as
significant to their characters as their religious beliefs or political
In fact, all of the characters on Lost display similar depth and
complexity. The richness of the characterizations demonstrates the
intertwining of material concerns and belief, the tension between
religious and secular selves, and the fact that while religious
commitments might be significant, they are not sufficient. Religion
plays a role, but it is never the sole motivating factor for a
character’s thoughts or behavior. Another excellent example of this is
the character of Sayid, who accompanies Kate, Locke, and Rousseau on
their mission to rescue Jack. His flashbacks reveal his past as an
interrogator for the Iraqi Republican Guard and his devotion to his
childhood sweetheart, Nadia. At various moments throughout the show,
Sayid is shown praying or otherwise demonstrating his Muslim faith. He
is tormented by the fact that he tortured prisoners and haunted by
Nadia’s memory, as well as religiously devout in his own way. He is a
lover and a soldier and a man of piety, deeply private and obviously
spiritual, yet persistently pragmatic and skeptical. From the beginning,
Sayid openly challenges monolithic stereotypes about what it means to be
Arab or Muslim.
The very act of Locke blowing up the submarine is a concrete
manifestation of how the complexity of such religio-political identities
can burst through into material, often violent, consequences. Though
terrorism is a term that invites misunderstanding, it is frequently
applied when religion and violence come together. Locke’s action could
certainly be construed as quasi-“terrorist” in nature (if the island had
a news channel, undoubtedly the story of Locke’s action would run as
such). Indeed, the destruction of the submarine is primarily motivated
by Locke’s deep devotion to the island. He views himself as a kind of
island-savior, a messiah who needs to protect the island from outside
invasion and Ben’s machinations. Blowing up the submarine is the bold
effort of a religious zealot on behalf of his cause, and from a less
generous angle seems like the work of a crazed religious fanatic. Though
presumably no one is physically harmed by Locke’s actions (though the
submarine appears empty, it is unclear whether or not any Others might
have been onboard), Jack and Juliet are victims in less tangible ways.
Additional Others might have been equally dismayed at the destruction of
what is purported to be the one means off the island.
The submarine explosion is a strategic act on the part of Ben and Locke,
as both men contribute to its destruction. Locke wants to sabotage the
submarine both symbolically and practically; he wants everyone on the
island to stay there and no one else to arrive, but he also wants to
make the point to Ben that he is the new island messiah. Ben wants to
keep Jack and Juliet from leaving but also sees the destruction of the
submarine as just the kind of spectacle he needs to manipulate his
followers. To Locke, Ben construes Locke’s act as a manifestation of the
island’s preference for Ben. To himself, Locke justifies the act as a
necessary sacrifice for the good of island. Both men cast the situation
in a quasi-religious light, in similar, though competing, terms. The
violent act becomes imbued with conflicting and competing versions of a
The failed rescue attempt and its accompanying drama as portrayed in
“The Man from Tallahassee” are not the end of the story, of course. Four
seasons of ABC’s popular drama Lost have aired at the time of this
writing; two more remain to be seen. As the stories continue to unfold
in further episodes, the situation as it stands after Locke blows up the
submarine changes radically. Throughout, however, the construction of
complex identities continues. Violence, motivated by faith and many
other causes, continues to plague the island. Even though sharp
divisions arise between the original camps and new loyalties and
boundaries are formed, the concept of otherness remains significant.
These themes, and the questions that necessarily accompany them,
The World as an Island: Teaching Notes
Lost is a show about difference, about divergence, about
how things break apart and come back together. Thoughtfully bringing
Lost into the conversation about religion and politics, whether inside
or outside of the classroom, opens up new spaces for discussion. Lost
offers a unique lens through which to envision the world as an island.
For a fan of the show, thinking about how the action on Lost exemplifies
various philosophical, religious, political, or sociological ideas is
merely an enjoyable exercise—useful in some sense, perhaps, but
primarily for entertainment. But if such thinking can be brought into an
educational setting, then concrete gains can be seen from bringing the
fictional into conversation with reality. Due to the layering of media
demonstrated in the Lost phenomenon and the popularity of the program,
it is easy to see how Lost would capture attention of students. The
characters are compelling. The action and melodrama draw audiences in.
Fiction has limits and possibilities beyond those of real-life
situations; it offers a displacement of genuine concerns and questions
onto a field where reality is malleable. This approach invites students
to enter into a concept from a number of different directions,
encouraging them to see how the various spheres of their lives overlap
Though explicit references to specific scholars and/or theoretical
models have been omitted from the case itself, the case does come out of
a theoretical grounding. This case study operates from Charles Long’s
definition of religion and Andrew Heywood’s definition of politics. Long
argues that religion is “orientation in the ultimate sense, that is, how
one comes to term with the ultimate significance of one’s place in the
world”, particularly in moments of cultural contact. Long considers
religion as “more than a structure of thought; it is experience,
expression, motivations, intentions, behaviors, styles, and rhythms.”
Religion may incorporate elements of the otherworldly, but it is always
made manifest in the material world in fundamental ways. Heywood has
suggested that politics is “the activity through which people make,
preserve and amend the general rules under which they live.” Politics,
then, is related to both governing and social relations, both
competition and cooperation.
These definitions allow for some flexibility and dynamism in discussing
the intersection of religion and politics. Long’s notion of religion
allows for the inclusion of established religious institutions (i.e.
Christianity) as well as other less “traditional” models. Lost deals
with religion in both of these contexts: the religion of the island
itself and the more conventional faiths and practices that the Oceanic
815 survivors and other inhabitants of the island bring with them.
Heywood’s definition of politics broadens the discussion past mere
questions of official government and opens the conversation to include
the interpersonal dynamics that go along with struggles over leadership
and power in many contexts.
Sociologist Rhys H. Williams writes about how religion as both a
cultural system and an ideology plays a “remarkably robust” role as an
identity marker, particularly in analyses of political behavior. He
suggests that one reason for the power of religious influence has to do
with how religion aids in the construction of symbolic worlds and
worldviews that incorporate assumptions about duty and relationship. For
Williams, “religion is ‘implicit’ culture . . . effective, if
nonarticulated, set of organizing principles.” Williams’ definition can
easily be brought into conversation with Charles Long’s; both see
religion as functioning as an essential component of identity, and both
point to the material and ideological aspects of religious identity.
Along similar lines, legal scholar William P. Marshall contends that
religion is political because “religion must be understood as a
pervasive social force that has an inevitable political effect.” He
points out that religious identities manifest themselves in political
action in both explicit and implicit ways. Marshall’s argument
acknowledges the reality of the diverse ways in which religious and
political identities come together (in conjunction with other identities
and commitments) in individuals and communities. For Marshall, religion
is phenomenon that encompasses worldview, ideology, orientation, and
Discussions of the case study could take one or both of two different
directions. Primarily, students could use the events depicted in the
case study to ask questions about what othering is and how it functions,
how layers of identity are formed, what it means to identify an act of
violence as having religious significance, the permeability of divisions
between religious and political spheres, and so on. Additionally,
students could approach the case on a meta-level, as an example of how
popular media in a globalized world engages with real-life issues and
This case study would likely be most effective if the students were able
to actually watch clips from the episode discussed (or the episode in
its entirety). Many of the scenes explicitly referenced in the case
study can be found on YouTube, though instructors may prefer to obtain a
copy of the episode on DVD to better control content. Many episodes are
also available for free streaming online
There are several supplementary academic readings which would facilitate
discussion and augment student understanding of the issues at hand.
These readings tackle the larger concepts of religion, othering,
violence, and identity. For instance, reading Mark Jurgensmeyer’s take
on the performative nature of religiously motivated violence would add
insight into the layers of meaning in Locke blowing up the submarine.
Bruce Lincoln’s book Holy Terrors would also add to the discussion of
religion and violence. Reading one or both of J. Z. Smith’s articles on
othering and difference would offer constructive tools for exploring
Additional materials on Lost itself are also available. The website
offers transcripts of episodes, character biographies, episode recaps,
discussions of prominent themes and issues, photographs of characters
and screen shots from episodes, and much more. Instructors may wish to
browse the content available to familiarize themselves with some of this
material, especially if they have little or no prior experience with the
Further Reading on the Issues:
Gabardi, Wayne. “Contemporary Models of Democracy.” Polity
Vol. 33, No. 4.
(Summer, 2001): 547-568.
Heywood, Andrew. Politics. New York: Palgrave, 2002.
Jurgensmeyer, Mark. Terror in the Mind of God: The Global
Rise of Religious Violence.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
Lincoln, Bruce. “Religion, Rebellion, Revolution.” In Holy
Terrors: Thinking About
Religion After September 11. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.
Long, Charles. Significations. Aurora, CO: Fortress Press,
Marshall, William P. “The Culture of Belief and the
Politics of Religion.” Law and
Contemporary Problems. Vol. 63, No. 1 & 2 (Winter-Spring, 2000): 453-465.
Smith, J. Z. “Differential Equations: On Constructing the
Other.” In Relating Religion.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
----. “What a Difference a Difference Makes.” In Relating
Religion. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 2004.
Williams, Rhys H. “Religion as Political Resource: Culture
or Ideology?” Journal for the
Scientific Study of Religion Vol. 35, No. 4 (December 1996): 368-378.
Further Reading on Lost:
Card, Orson Scott, ed. Getting Lost: Survival, Baggage,
and Starting Over in J. J.
Abrams’ Lost. Benbella Books, 2006.
Douthat, Ross. “Lost and Saved on Television.” First
Things: A Journal of Religion,
Culture, and Public Life (May 2007).
Kaye, Sharon M., ed. Lost and Philosophy: The Island Has
Its Reasons. Blackwell
McCracken, Allison. “Lost.” FlowTV: A Critical Forum on
Television and Media
Culture Vol. 1 No 4. (19 November 2004). < http://flowtv.org/?p=671>.
Mittell, Jason. “Lost in an Alternate Reality.” FlowTV: A
Critical Forum on Television
and Media Culture Vol. 4 No. 7 (16 June 2006). < http://flowtv.org/?p=165>.
Wood, J. Living Lost: Why We’re All Stuck on the Island.
Garrett County Press, 2007.
See the BBC article at <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/5231334.stm>.
Every episode of Lost takes up multiple storylines, one of which is a
“back story” for a character. This case will focus not on the back story
in “The Man From Tallahassee,” but on the primary story as it unfolds on
the island. Season 2, Episode 6, “Abandoned.” Season 3, Episode 13, “The
Man From Tallahassee” Season 3, Episode 2,“The Glass Ballerina” Season
4, Episode 5, “The Other Woman” Season 2, Episode 24 “Live Together, Die
Alone” Season 3, Episode 19 “The Brig” Season 3, Episode 13, “The Man
From Tallahassee” Charles Long, Significations (Aurora, CO: Fortress
Press, 1999), 7. Ibid., 7. Andrew Heywood, Politics (New York: Palgrave,
2002), 4. Heywood writes this as an introduction to a basic textbook on
political science; I find the definition useful despite its humble
origins. Rhys H. Williams, “Religion as Political Resource: Culture or
Ideology?” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 35, No. 4
(December 1996): 369. Ibid., 370. Ibid., 370. William P. Marshall, “The
Culture of Belief and the Politics of Religion,” Law and Contemporary
Problems, Vol. 63, No. 1 & 2 (Winter-Spring, 2000): 454.