\"Lost,\" faith and community

Last night, I headed out to the movie theater to watch an interview with some TV producers: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, the guiding hands of ABC's "Lost," appearing in "Times Talk Live" as part of the publicity blitz leading up to the series finale Sunday night.

The tension between faith and empiricism has been a "Lost" theme from early on, and last night's discussion turned to the idea of faith several times. Sometimes "Lost" has dealt with religious themes overtly, but more often it's been presented in sci-fi metaphor.

A clip from the second season shown at last night's event is one famous example of the long debate between "Losts"'s original man of science, Dr. Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox), and man of faith, John Locke (Terry O'Quinn).

Lindelof, commenting on the scene, made the case that the crucial line belongs to Locke: "I can't do this alone, Jack. I don't want to." That's the line that sums up what they've tried to say about faith: It happens in community, in creating bonds with others.

And when one audience member -- who told Cuse and Lindelof that their show had helped revive her own faith in God -- asked how the past six years of "Lost" had affected their own spirituality, Cuse (a Catholic) again touched on faith as community -- expanding that to his own experience of collaborative work on "Lost" with Lindelof and with the extended "family" of 425 people who worked to bring this story to life.

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