U.S. understandings of violence and non-violence are often expressed in stereotypically simplistic terms by Americans and their critics. The maverick cowboy anti-hero who answers to his own code of honor, enforced by redemptive violence, is a quintessential symbol of this American ethos. An exploration of this theme in Pale Rider, Pulp Fiction and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, which center on the tension between violence and non-violence through an outlaw protagonist and his use of Judeo-Christian scriptures, suggests that the true complexity of the American popular moral theology of violence and non-violence is being addressed in film.
"Preacher, Shepherd, Judge: The Role of the Outlaw Prophet in American Film,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 12
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol12/iss2/4