top of page

25 Jan 2023

The Matrix (1999)

Featuring Dr King-Ho Leung

When The Matrix debuted in 1999, audiences were delighted by its use of Hong-Kong style fight choreography (rooted in wuxia and involving mixed martial arts performed, in part, by suspending actors on wires) combined with a new cinematographic style, later known as "Bullet Time". Hollywood was forever changed. But the film was far more than a visual spectacle. Filmmakers, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, produced an action film that was also deeply intellectual, playing with allegory, religion, and philosophy in new ways. In so doing, it prompts age old questions on the nature of reality, and what it means to be masters of our own fate. In this episode, Dr King-Ho Leung breaks down some of the richer metaphors in the film, discusses the protagonist, Neo, as a 'Chosen One' who chooses to be chosen, and demonstrates how The Matrix can illuminate classical philosophical and theological ideas, including: Plato's Allegory of the Cave, René Descartes's theories on the nature of being, and Karl Barth's understanding of Christ. 


Metaphysics -

The philosophical study of the nature of being, including what it is to exist.

Epistemology -

The philosophical study of the nature of knowledge, including the difference between belief and opinion. 

Doctrine of Election -

Being divinely chosen as God's own (either as an individual or as a group).     

Christology -

Literally, 'the study of Christ'. A branch of Christian theology exploring the nature of Jesus as Christ. This is different than studying Jesus as a historical figure.

Fallen World -

Relating to the Christian concept of "the fall", in which all humanity are believed to live with sin due to Adam and Eve's transgression in the Garden of Eden, when they ate the fruit of the tree.

Episode Credits:

Many thanks to Dr King-Ho Leung for his time and expertise.

King-Ho is Senior Research Fellow at St. Mary’s College, the University of St. Andrews. He was previously Lecturer in Philosophy and Theology at the University of Chester. His work has been published in journals including Philosophy, Modern Theology, Studies in Christian Ethics, and Theory, Culture & Society. He is currently completing a book on the understanding of philosophy as a spiritual practice and its relation to contemporary conceptions of secularity. You can find King-Ho on Twitter @kingholeung.




Coming Soon

bottom of page