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Theology and Film: Challenging the Sacred/Secular Divide

ISBN: 978-1-4051-4437-7
264 pages
January 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Theology and Film: Challenging the Sacred/Secular Divide (1405144378) cover image
This introductory textbook uses appreciation of film to explore debates between theology and contemporary culture. It examines both method and theory and features a range of film examples throughout.

  • Explores how film can enrich our study of theology, opening up debates surrounding contemporary culture and theological inquiry
  • Addresses a broad range of themes, including religion and the sacred, human dignity, eschatology, war and peace, violence, justice, feminism, and the environment
  • Includes sections on methodological considerations as well as theoretical perspectives
  • Features examples from a range of films, including Unforgiven, The Passion of Christ, An Inconvenient Truth, Jarhead, Something’s Gotta Give, and Vanilla Sky
  • Accompanied by website resources available at www.blackwellpublishing.com/theologyandfilm.
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Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Part I: Methodological Considerations.

1 Theology and Film.

Part II: Theological Perspectives and Filmic Themes.

2 Introduction.

3 Woman as Spectacle: Theological Perspectives on Women and Film.

4 The Green Screen: Theological Perspectives on the Environment and Film.

5 A Time to Kill?: Theological Perspectives on Violence and Film.

6 The Final Verdict: Theological Perspectives on Justice and Film.

7 Dark Beauty: Theological Perspectives on War as Cinematic Mythology.

8 Heaven, Hell, and the Sweet Hereafter: Theological Perspectives on Eschatology and Film.

9 Conclusion: Theological Perspectives on Cinematic Storytelling.

Bibliography.

Filmography.

Index

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Christopher Deacy is Head of Religious Studies and Lecturer in Applied Theology at the University of Kent and has written a number of publications exploring the interface between religion and film, including Screen Christologies: Redemption and the Medium of Film.

Gaye Williams Ortiz teaches Communication Studies at Augusta State University in Georgia. She has served as vice president of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, and is co-editor of Explorations in Theology and Film (Blackwell, 1997).

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  • Explores how film can enrich our study of theology, opening up debates surrounding contemporary culture and theological inquiry
  • Addresses a broad range of themes, including religion and the sacred, human dignity, eschatology, war and peace, violence, justice, feminism, and the environment
  • Includes sections on methodological considerations as well as theoretical perspectives
  • Features examples from a range of films, including Unforgiven, The Passion of Christ, An Inconvenient Truth, Jarhead, Something’s Gotta Give, and Vanilla Sky
  • Accompanied by website resources available at www.blackwellpublishing.com/theologyandfilm.
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"Deacy and Ortiz demonstrate their thesis that cinema is a rich site for theological exchange. The selection of films is commendably catholic: the treatment of Iranian women's films particularly will open up mew areas for Western readers." (European Journal of Theology, April 2009)

“The authors do an admirable job of culling various authors … .[They] reaffirm that films contribute to fundamental questions and keep the debate going. Recommended.” (CHOICE)

"It should hold much relevance for film students interested in theology, and vice versa, as it offers a range of challenging ideas and perspectives on the subject." (M/C Reviews)

"Ortiz and Deacy offer a singularly rich analysis of the ways that theology and film interlace. Using Niebuhr's Christ and Culture as an interpretive model, they put their fingers on the theological pulse of thousands of contemporary and classic, pop and art films with stunningly insightful success. Their command of both film language and divergent currents in contemporary theology allows them to respect each film as an artistic work in its own right which illuminates issues such as violence, women's rights, the environment, and apocalyptic discourse. I highly recommend this thoughtful book for classroom use and just plain reading pleasure." 
–Sara Anson Vaux, Northwestern University

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