Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the development of religion and film studies, tracking its growth from early biblically-themed shorts prior to World War I to today’s expansive theological/religious conversation with world cinema and Hollywood blockbusters. Historically, such studies centered in Christianity. Theological strategies through the decades have included “avoidance,” “caution,” “dialogue,” “appropriation,” and “divine encounter,” significant scholarship from each being noted. Today, religion and film studies are burgeoning in popularity for several reasons: (1) movies provide people their common myths and stories in our image-based culture; (2) viewer-oriented criticism has uncovered profound experiences of transcendence at the deepest recesses of the human spirit; while (3) theology and film criticism has provided focus on the work of the Holy Spirit outside the believing community and its Scripture. New developments in the field include the discussion of world cinema and other religious traditions, and a stronger focus upon music and image, not just word.

Keywords: film studies and religion, theology and film criticism, world cinema, transcendence, image-based culture, viewer-oriented criticism, Holy Spirit, film music, film images

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.