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Religion and Film: An Introduction

Religion and Film: An Introduction
J. Melanie Wright

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Description

From silent films to contemporary blockbusters, religion has always proved a popular theme for the cinema. However, all too often religion and film are discussed from narrowly confessional perspectives, with the result that the field has long been dominated by the question of a film's fidelity to a religious text or worldview, or its value as a tool in ministry and mission. "Religion and Film: An Introduction" seeks to redress this balance, and argues for a new, holistic approach to the subject that draws on work from cultural studies, religious studies and film studies alike. Wright argues that the 'meanings' of a film are not encoded by its textual organisation, but are bound up with its interpretation by viewers in specific contexts. Focusing on religiously diverse films like "The Ten Commandments", "La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc", "Kadosh", "Lagaan", "My Son the Fanatic", "Keeping the Faith", "The Wicker Man" and Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ", the author looks at varied screen representations of religion; at films shaped by strong convictions about the place of religion in society; and at the roles that audiences play as consumers of film.

The book will have strong appeal to students as well as general readers interested in all aspects of the inter-relationship of religion and the cinema.

Author Info

Melanie J Wright is Academic Director of the Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations, Cambridge, and the author of Moses in America: The Cultural Uses of Biblical Narrative (2002).

Review

'Melanie Wright not only provides fascinating discussion of a range of important movies, but also moves the fledgling field of 'religion and film' to the next stage by drawing attention to concepts, questions and themes that undergird this exciting interdisciplinary endeavour. Religion and Film: An Introduction is a must-read for anyone interested in the integral relationship between religion and film in Hollywood and beyond. It will also prove an indispendable text for undergraduates and their teachers.'
Adele Reinhartz, Associate Vice-President of Research, and Professor of Religion & Classics, University of Ottawa'

The developing field of religion and film is very new and encourages a wide range of different interests and approaches, as Melanie Wright rightly acknowledges in this substantial contribution to film and religion studies. The whole area has not yet developed very far, is something of a hodge-podge, and to a certain degree we do not yet know what we are doing. By selecting a particular systematic approach to religion and film
which incorporates an analysis of narrative, style, content and reception
Wright makes a great step forward for the whole field. Her cultural studies approach to the topic proposes a clearly defined solution to the subject's fragmentariness: a challenge that is long overdue. Moreover, the account she gives of each film that she considers is thorough, fascinating and enlightening.'
William L Blizek, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Editor of The Journal of Religion and FilmWESTMINSTER PAPERS IN COMMUNICATION AND CULTUREDr Wright deserves congratulations on this interesting book. Its 203 pages cover such a wide spread and, with its extensive notes and bibliography, it would be useful to anyone who is working in this area. It would be a good, readable book from which to start teaching students. Maria Way

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

Paperback
ISBN: 9781850438861
Publication Date: 26 Oct 2006
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138

Hardback
ISBN: 9781850437598
Publication Date: 26 Oct 2006
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138

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