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Catholicism in The X-Files: Dana Scully and the harmony of faith and reason


In discussions of The X-Files it has become almost a cliché to note that while Fox Mulder is known for being the believer and Dana Scully the sceptic, those roles reverse when the question of religious belief arises, in particular Scully's adherence to her Roman Catholic faith. Throughout the course of the series, Scully's acceptance of supernatural belief, as represented by her return to Catholicism, allows her to become more open to the paranormal possibilities advanced by Mulder. Moreover, the relationship between Scully and Mulder, as well as Scully's own character development, represents the alternating tension and harmony between faith and reason that forms the core of Catholic theology, as exemplified in the writings of theologian Thomas Aquinas, his contemporary Bonaventure of Bagnoregio and others. While the series does not dwell on specific theological questions or writers, the representation of Scully's religious journey is portrayed as beneficial to the agents' search for the 'truth'. The reconciliation of Mulder and Scully's worldviews addresses societal anxieties over the tension between faith and reason, reflecting Catholicism's insistence on their interdependence.

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