The Religious Affiliation of
Christopher Reeve great American actor
Christopher Reeve was born into a Presbyterian family and grew up as a Presbyterian, but he was not an active churchgoer during most of his adult life. Late in life, after his famous horseback riding accident, Reeve joined the Unitarian Universalist Church.
Christopher Reeve's parents were married in a Presbyterian church (Still Me, page 58).
Christopher Reeve was briefly in Scientology.
In his autobiography, Still Me, Christopher Reeve said that he attended a Presbyterian church while growing up in Princeton, New Jersey. He recalls that he was interested more in music than in theology at the time. He was in the church choir. Reeve points out that his father was a tremendous influence on him, and that he respected his father immensely. Reeve states that it was primarily because of the influence of his father, who was strongly disinclined toward church attendance, that he himself was "not religious." By this, Reeve meant that he was not a churchgoer or member of a congregation as an adult. Source: Christopher Reeve, Still Me, Random House: New York (1998), page 62.
Reeve biographers Nickson and Havill both point out that Reeve was a Protestant. Havill points out that Reeve was a member of his church choir, and that he later said he was more interested in the music than learning about God. Sources: Adrian Havill, Man of Steel: The Career and Courage of Christopher Reeve, Signet/Penguin Books: New York (1996), page 42; Chris Nickson, Superhero: A Biography of Christopher Reeve, St. Martin's Press: New York (1998), page 10.
From: Alanna Nash, "Christopher Reeve: A hero onscreen and off" in Reader's Digest, October 2004 (http://www.rd.com/content/openContent.do?contentId=13712; viewed 26 August 2005):
Christopher Reeve, a hero onscreen as Superman and in real life as an activist for stem cell research, passed away on October 10 at age 52. Just months before, Mr. Reeve spoke with our magazine for an interview that appeared in our October 2004 issue. Read the interview here, and check out exclusive outtakes from the interview only seen here at rd.com...
RD [interviewer]: You went nearly 50 years without religion in your life. What made you recently join the Unitarian Church?
Reeve: It gives me a moral compass. I often refer to Abe Lincoln, who said, "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that is my religion." I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us. It may be God, I don't know. But I think that if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do. The Unitarian believes that God is good, and believes that God believes that man is good. Inherently. The Unitarian God is not a God of vengeance. And that is something I can appreciate.
Aside from his role as "Superman" in four feature films, Christopher Reeve's most memorable film role as as the star of the classic and much-loved romantic time travel story Somewhere in Time. The producer of the film, Stephen Simon, was the driving force behind getting the movie made. It was Simon who optioned the book from author Richard Matheson and pushed to get the film made. Simon wrote a book about spiritual/religious movies titled The Force Is With You: Mystical Movie Messages that Inspire Our Lives, published by Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc. (Charlottesville, Virginia) in 2002. A blurb written by Christopher Reeve appears on the back cover of the book:
I share Stephen Simon's belief that we live in a culture of diminished ethics and morality, but there are resources within us we known little about. In this engrossing book, Stephen shares his conviction illustrated by a wide variety of films he has chosen as examples, that by searching for the best within ourselves we can create a better society and a better world. This book is fascinating, timely, and profound.
From: Tilman Hausherr, scientology celebrities FAQ" of alt.religion.scientology, last updated 1 July 2005 (http://home.snafu.de/tilman/faq-you/celeb.txt; viewed 10 November 2005):
Factnet & L. Wollersheim, [about] Celebrity ex-members [of Scientology]
- Christopher Reeve ("Superman"), was in [Scientology] for awhile,
received some services at the New York Scientology Center
[Also mentioned in New York Daily News 10.9.2002, Rosie the magazine 10/2002]
From: "Religious Affiliations of Celebrities" page in "Celebrity Religion" section of "Religion Facts" website (http://www.religionfacts.com/celebrities/religions_of_celebrities.htm; viewed 26 April 2007):
Below is an index of the religious affiliations or belief systems of celebrities (both living and dead; in film, television, music, literature, academics and politics), listed in alphabetical order by last name...
Celebrity: Christopher Reeve
Quotes, More Information, Sources: The Superman actor jointed the Unitarian church around the age of 50. "I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us. It may be God, I don't know. But I think that if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do. The Unitarian believes that God is good, and believes that God believes that man is good. Inherently. The Unitarian God is not a God of vengeance. And that is something I can appreciate." - Reader's Digest, October 2004 [link to: http://www.rd.com/content/christopher-reeve-a-hero-onscreen-and-off/]
Webpage created 25 August 2005. Last modified 26 April 2007.
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