Popular Culture is often just thoughtlessly consumed today as entertainment. That is unfortunate because if one looks deeply at many works of popular culture and analyzes them properly with the right tools and background knowledge regarding the sources from which they come, one will realize certain profound and noteworthy things which I will try to summarize below. We have done this by analyzing films such as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Harry Potter (and his different adventures), Regarding Henry, etc.
 Heroes and Villains | Works of popular culture generally have “Heroes” and “Villains.” These characters, their respective “journeys” and “adventures/misadventures” usually form the backbone of the stories. The journeys of heroes have been a main focus of this course because they reflect and mirror the real journeys that each of us undertakes in life. Each of us is “the Hero” of our own life. At the same time, we can also potentially become “the Villain” of both our life and the lives of others.
 Journeys and Spiritual Quests | The “journey” itself can be considered a spiritual quest. The essence of the “spiritual quest” can be expressed in this way: We may not be fully aware of it, but all of us are actually seeking (“questing”) in everything we do for a more MEANINGFUL and HAPPY existence. This can only be reached—I’m proposing—by pursuing a more profound “depth in life” and, at the same time, participating in something “bigger” than ourselves. The key words here are “depth” and transcendence.”
 Spirituality and Spiritual Quests | Hence, the (working) definition of the spiritual quest (or of “spirituality” itself) that I have proposed in this course is: The spiritual quest (or spirituality itself) is the human quest for meaning by finding ways to go deeper into oneself and transcend oneself for something bigger. We can shorten that to: Going “Deeper” and “Bigger” as the very essence of the spiritual quest. At their best, the different religions and spiritual traditions of the world try to enhance the development of this spiritual quest/spirituality in their own particular ways. Sometimes they are successful; at other times, they are not. Another main point I’ve emphasized is that spirituality is a basic human dimension. It is not the exclusive domain of institutional religions although the pursuit of spirituality has been predominantly done within religious institutions in the past. Hence, spirituality can be properly pursued within but also outside institutional religion today.
 Christianity and Jesus | We cannot neglect the major role that the Christian tradition and its central figure (Jesus Christ) have played in the history of Western civilization. For better or worse, Christianity has impacted many aspects of Western culture both in the past and still in our day. Therefore, a knowledge of key aspects of Christianity, particularly, of its central figure—Jesus Christ, is key to understanding Western culture itself and the many pieces of literature and popular culture (among other things) that come from it.
 Joseph Campbell and the Monomyth | The American mythologist Joseph Campbell proposed that stories of heroes around the world follow one basic plot which he outlined in his influential work A Hero with a Thousand Faces. Campbell called this plot “the monomyth.” It is also popularly known as “The Hero’s Journey.” These stories, which basically follow Campbell’s scheme of the hero’s journey, are found in various mythologies and religious-spiritual traditions. Or course, they are also found in many of the stories and plots of popular culture.