Religion and Film: An Introduction by J. Melanie Wright
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.