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  • This chapter is unavailable for purchase
  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: June 2014

Chapter 3 - Religion and Modernity: Marx, Durkheim and Weber

  • Adam Possamai, University of Western Sydney
  • Publisher: Acumen Publishing
  • pp 39-51



In the graphic novel series of Frank Miller's Sin City recently adapted for the big screen, the reader is exposed to a revival of the 1940–50s film noir. In these stories, each character is far from being a boy scout. The only heroes, who are themselves criminals or adventurers of the deviant type, are the ones who have managed to keep a sense of honour. Everyone in this Sin City has been corrupted by greed, yet these anti-heroes, somehow, manage to show goodness.

In the first book of the series, Marvin, a sociopath who is not afraid of killing anyone who gets in his way, wakes up in a sordid hotel room to find his blonde companion dead. Instead of leaving Sin City to escape the police who believe he is guilty of the murder, Marvin decides to find the killer. The more information he finds on his path to the truth, the more he realises the extent to which the city is corrupt; especially at very high levels. After killing a few people, including a cannibal with the face of an angel, Marvin becomes involved with a community of prostitutes as powerful as the mafia, and reaches the end of his journey. He discovers that the person behind the crime of his blonde is the most powerful person in the city: Cardinal Roark, a man as capable of bringing down the mayor or getting a governor elected as he is of saying the Lord's Prayer.