A few weeks ago my wife and I joined the millions of people who watched Netflix’s new original series, The Queen’s Gambit. While I wasn’t sold on it at first, by the final episode I was completely invested. Although religion isn’t featured prominently in the series, the story is clearly rooted in a Christian understanding of sin and redemption.
The show revolves around the chess career of Beth Harmon, but the underlying story is that of Beth’s personal healing from the wounds inflicted on her during her upbringing. In this sense, the Russian chess master Borgov is only a secondary antagonist to her own self destructive addictions.
Some critics took issue with the view of the human person presented in the series, preferring an individualistic anthropology. Their perspective, however, is in many critical ways opposed to Christianity. I found that the portrayal of Beth’s story of healing and transformation illustrated a vision of the human person echoing many of the central themes of Francis’s pontificate: mercy, love, and community.
I wrote a piece over at The Catholic Herald about all of this. Check it out.
Paul Fahey lives in Michigan with his wife and four kids. For the past eight years, he has worked as a professional catechist. He has an undergraduate degree in Theology and is currently working toward a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling. He is a retreat leader, catechist formator, writer, and a co-founder of Where Peter Is. He is also the founder and co-host of the Pope Francis Generation podcast. His long-term goal is to provide pastoral counseling for Catholics who have been spiritually abused, counseling for Catholic ministers, and counseling education so that ministers are more equipped to help others in their ministry.