vi + 176 pp.
£17.50 / $35 / €23.75
£35 / $70 / €47.50
The Bible in Contemporary Cinema
Edited by Geert Hallbäck, Annika Hvithamar
The relationship between theology and film has always been a complicated one. When film was invented at the end of the nineteenth century, it quickly gained its place in popular culture, far from the orthodoxies of the scholarly world and of the Church. For the better part of the twentieth century popular cinema was considered off limits for serious studies of Bible and culture. Recently, however, there has been a growing understanding of how the Bible is being used in popular culture—not as a historical document or as an authoritative canon, but as part of the cultural intertext.
Cinema is a vivid example of the role and impact of the Bible in contemporary society. In this well-theorized collection of essays the issue is treated from several angles. Using the methodology of theology, the question of the alleged escapism of popular cinema is explored. Using the methodology of media studies, the impact of the media on religious communication is analysed. And, using the methodology of religious studies, the influence of the cinema in the creation of new religions, religious behaviour and religious institutions is investigated.
In addition, the book offers fruitful analyses of the cinematic use of biblical themes such as Eden, salvation, Mary Magdalene and Jesus—as well as of the cinematic application of ethical themes such as truth-telling, personal growth, suffering, the accomplishment of good and the creating of meaning for human beings.
Geert Hallbäck is Associate Professor in the Department for Biblical Exegesis at the University of Copenhagen.
Annika Hvithamar is Assistant Professor in the Department for Philosophy, Religious Studies and Education at the University of Southern Denmark.
Geert Hallbäck and Annika Hvithamar
1 Chris Deacy
‘Escaping’ from the World through Film: Theological Perspectives on the ‘Real’ and the ‘Reel’
2 Mikkel Fugl Eskjær
Religion in New Danish Cinema
3 Árni Svanur Daníelsson
Images of Salvation in Tsotsi, In America and Levity
4 Thorkell Agust Ottarsson
Eden Revisited: Categorizing Eden Themes in Films
5 Gerard Loughlin
The Madonna’s Tear: Biblical Images in the Films of Andrei Tarkovsky
6 Caroline Vander Stichele
Mary Magdalene in Motion
7 Arnfríður Guðmundsdóttir
More Pain, more Gain!
On Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ
8 Jesper Tang Nielsen
Jesus and Josephine: The Bible in Danish Popular Culture
9 Britt Istoft
Trekkies, Jedi-Knights and Pop Witches. Fantasy and Science Fiction as Religion
As a closing credit for Recent Releases: The Bible in Contemporary Cinema, I advocate it as fundamental as a library resource, on the desk of those teaching/researching religion and cinema, and for graduate students. Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, Review of Biblical Literature.