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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

As prop, subject, quotation, or theme, the Bible appears both explicitly and implicitly in countless movies. Arranged to provide some historical context while considering films from the silent era to the present, this account considers significant films as part of an ongoing struggle between two dynamic institutions—religion and cinema—over cultural power and the function of entertainment. The tension between commercial and religious values is crucial to understanding the production and reception of Bible-related films and surrounding discourse. More than explicitly Bible-based fare, movies that fuse biblical motifs with American ideals and assumptions demonstrate the significance of the Bible and cinema as an expression of American culture.

Keywords: American exceptionalism, anti-Semitism, apocalyptic movies, Bible in movies, Bible epic films, civil religion, classical Hollywood film, Cecil B. DeMille, Jesus films or biopics, superhero films

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