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Author(s): William Telford, Eric S. Christianson, Peter Francis
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The interdisciplinary study of theology and film requires a responsible engagement on the part of religious studies experts, biblical scholars and theologians, with film studies. Cinema Divinite first of all sets out various critical approaches to the study of film and theology such as formalism, expressionism, realism, textual analysis, contextual analysis, postmodern eclecticism, narrative criticism and cultural studies.
The early chapters also look at the major concepts in film studies such as cinema spectatorship and the nature and application of film theory to theology. The book takes a case-study approach as it examines specific films, including The Godfather, Blade Runner, 0 Brother Where Art Thou? , specific filmmakers such as Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick and Luis Bunuel, and finally genre, including everything from film noir to animantion and the western. The book closes with a lively and often far-sighted discussion of the recently released The Passion of Christ.
"The chapter which deals with the way in which different directors have coped with the problem of anti-Semitism in the New Testament has particular relevance for today's interfaith dialogue." -- Rev David Bridge, supernumerary minister in the Portsmouth circuit, Methodist Recorder's television and radio reviewer. Methodist Recorder, September 14, 2006.
"This book is a very good introduction to the way art and Christian enquiry can be positively related in film. It has to be on the reading list of all who are interested in films and in theology and in the possible relations between them." --Keith Ward, Professor of Divinity at Gresham College, London, Fellow of the British Academy. Art and Christianity, January 2007.
This book is a veritable cornucopian feast for anyone interested in film. From case studies of key directors to discussions of cinematic classics, from explorations of time-honoured genres to investigations of the theological heart of many contemporary favourites, there is something for everyone's tastes here. This will help put to rest any suggestion that religion, theology and the Bible have nothing to do with the cinema -rather, these studies demonstrate that such matters are at the centre of our modern love-affair with the moving image." -- Dr Larry J Kreitzer, Tutor of New Testament and Tutor for Graduates, Regents Pak College, Oxford University, UK
"From this fascinating collection, readers will learn that "biblical" movies reflect not only the biblical stories they tell but also the issues and trends that are important to the filmmakers who created them, while films that are not explicitly about the Bible may nonetheless be built around biblical themes, characters and stories. A stimulating and far-ranging addition to the growing literature on the intersections among the Bible, theology and cinema, this book is a must-read for all who love watching movies and talking about them." --Dr Adele Reinhartz, Dean Graduate Studies and Research, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario
Peter Francis is Warden of the St Deiniol's Library. William Telford is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Newcastle and Eric S. Christianson is Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Chester College.