2020 | 1

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 13 of 13
  • Article
    Biblical Narratives in INTERSTELLAR (Christopher Nolan, US/GB 2014)
    Nir, Bina (2020)
    The present paper examines the presence of biblical narratives and myths in contemporary cultural productions based on an analysis of the science fiction film Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, US 2014). Interstellar follows the space voyage of a team of experts sent through a wormhole to search for a planet fit for human settlement since Earth is in the grips of ecological catastrophe that threatens to wipe out humanity. A narrative analysis of the film reveals that it also draws much of its inspiration from Judeo-Christian sources, particularly the narratives of the Old Testament. As a work of science fiction, Interstellar relies on the work of the physicist Kip Thorne, however, in addition to its scientific subject matter, the film is also replete with biblical narratives such as the apocalypse, Noah’s ark, the tale of the spies, prophecy and the tasking of the “chosen” one with a mission, signs and miracles, the ability to control nature and to create elements within it, the idea of punishment in the form of being denied entrance to the promised land, and so on.
  • Review
    Book Review. Elisha McIntyre, Religious Humor in Evangelical Christian and Mormon Culture
    Mäder, Marie-Therese (2020)
    At first sight one might think that religion and humor contradict each other or at least are not a fruitful pair. The study Religious Humor in Evangelical Christian and Mormon Culture by Elisha McIntyre, an Australian scholar in the study of religion, shows that this isn’t true at all, although differences in the effectiveness of humor persist depending on its purpose and the involved agents.
  • Review
    Book Review. Richard Walsh (ed.), T&T Clark Companion to the Bible and Film
    Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria (2020)
    "The strength of the Bible lies in the fact that it is a good screenplay,” said Godard once. The T&T Clark Companion to the Bible and Film edited by Richard Walsh demonstrates that Godard was absolutely right. The book is a treasure trove that can be used as an introduction to research in this field and for teaching on the academic level.
  • Article
    Dharma and the Religious Other in Hindi Popular Cinema. From Nehru through Modi
    San Chirico, Kerry P. C. (2020)
    This essay examines common representations of religious minorities in Hindi popular cinema within the context of dominant post-Independence Indian religious and political ideologies—from a religiously pluralist secular socialist framework to a Hindu nationalist late capitalist orientation. We begin by examining the more recent turn to film as a legitimate conveyor of middle-class Indian values worthy of interpretation, and the coeval shift among Indians from embarrassment to pride in film as the industry followed the liberalizing nation-state onto the global stage. Equipped with this interpretive strategy, we turn to the dhārmik, or religious elements within the Hindi sāmājik, or social film, demonstrating concretely how particular notions of Hindu dharma (variously if imperfectly translated as “duty,” “law,” “cosmic order,” “religion”) have long undergirded Hindi popular cinema structurally and topically. Finally, and most significantly, we examine representations of religious minorities, particularly Muslms, Christians, and Sikhs, in Hindi popular cinema against the backdrop of evolving religious and cultural ideologies up to the electoral victory of Prime Minister Modi of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP. It is argued that minority representation, like other aspects of Indian public life, can be interpreted as an index of majority concerns about the religious Other. While such representations have never been static, more current depictions present the viewer with a troubling, even ominous picture of the place (or lack thereof) of religious minorities in contemporary Indian society, revealing majoritarian chauvinism and sectarian tensions that call into question the identity of the Indian Republic as a pluralistic secular nation, as well as the easy elisions between Hindu and secular Indian nationalisms. When we now look at past films cognizant of the Hindu nationalist dispensation to come, discontinuity is not the only striking feature. Ideological inconsistencies, tensions, and contradictions have long been manifest on the silver screen, particularly with regard to the religious minorities. The present ascendance of Hindutva as a national (indeed international) religio-political ideology forces us to reconsider past films and the ideologies embedded therein.
  • Review
    Trattner, Kathrin (2020)
  • Article
    Is Superman a God? Editorial
    Yazbek, Elie (2020)
  • Article
    Jerusalem between Political Interests and Religious Promise: The Opening Ceremony of the New US Embassy as Media Ritual
    Griese, Hannah (2020)
    This article focuses on the opening ceremony of the new US-Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. By analysing a live transmission of the ceremony, it aims at showing how Jerusalem is constructed as a "holy city" through the ceremony and its medial representation. Thus it contributes at deepening the relationship between religion and politics in Mideast Conflict by focusing on the intersection of ritual, (sacred) space, conflict, and the media. More specifically, in following a spatial approach to religion, it asks about the role of media rituals as the considered ceremony in the construction of holy space in Mideast conflict.
  • Article
    Parabolic Transcendence in Time and Narrative: Shane Carruth’s PRIMER (US 2004) and UPSTREAM COLOR (US 2013) as Post-Secular Sci-Fi Parables
    Mayward, Joel (2020)
    Subjectivity, memory, identity, and the invisible connections between individuals are all conspicuous within filmmaker Shane Carruth’s two award-winning indie sci-fi films, Primer (Shane Carruth, USA, 2004) and Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, USA, 2013). In this, I contend that both Primer and Upstream Color are post-secular cinematic parables per philosopher Paul Ricoeur’s description of parable: the conjunction of a narrative form and a metaphorical process, addressing the religious via non-religious discourse. Interpreting these two films through a Ricoeurian parabolic hermeneutic addresses their mutual transcendence in and through time and narrative via their striking visual and auditory aesthetics, the use of montage in their nonlinear narratives, and the depiction of invisible relational connections between the films’ protagonists. I conclude that Carruth’s post-secular cinema resides in an in-between space: between the secular and the religious, realism and expressionism, immanence and transcendence.
  • Journal Issue
  • Article
    The End of Desire? Love and the Soteriological Significance of Desire, Hope, and Belief in Andrei Tarkovsky’s STALKER (USSR 1979)
    Lorenz, James (2020)
    This article explores the soteriological significance of desire in Сталкер (STALKER, Andrei Tarkovsky, RU 1979). At the heart of the film, deep within a paranormal and psychosomatic frontier called the Zone, is a space which signifies the end of all desire: the Room, a preternatural place of mystical power which is said to grant one’s innermost wishes. The Zone and the Room become soteriological motifs. Tarkovsky’s characters travel there motivated by a yearning for healing; a hope for salvation. This article explores this soteriological journey through the interplay of desire, hope, and belief, for this triad is the key conceptual scheme at work in the film. By analysing the film with a focus on this framework, several theological and soteriological concepts emerge which can be fruitfully explored. Above all, by focusing on the significance of this triad, a crucial aspect of Tarkovsky’s religious thought comes to light: his understanding of the relationship between desire and love.
  • Review
    TV-Series Review. HERRENS VEJE (RIDE UPON THE STORM), created by Adam Price
    Fritz, Natalie (2020)
    For nine generations, all men of the Krogh family have been pastors. Johannes’s two sons, Christian (Simon Sears) and August (Morten Hee Andersen), were also meant to follow their ancestors’ path, but ... Although the setting of "Ride upon the Storm" is genuinely Danish, the universality of the questions it raises may be one of the reasons screenwriter Adam Price’s second series for DR1 after the highly acclaimed and award-winning "Borgen" (DR 1, DK 2010–2013) reaches again a world-wide audience.The first season of Ride upon the Storm has ended in chaos, betrayal and even death – how the screenwriter will find a way out of this mess, and who will keep his/her faith are interesting narrative threads to be followed. Ride upon the Storm is a drama series that – even though it sometimes is a bit pathetic and exaggerated – dares to explore the highly delicate field of personal faith and its impact on one’s way of life. With its dense net of references to popular culture and the many complex questions the series teases out of the plot, it is not only a perfect example for intelligent audio-visual entertainment but may also serve as material for seminars on the topic of audio-visual approaches to religion. Audience and critics were enthusiastic, and the Danish Broadcasting Company DR immediately ordered a second season that has already been broadcasted in various countries.
  • Article
    “Someday Our Gods Will Be Friends”: The VIKINGS Series as Embodiment of Religion and Liquefaction of Meaning
    Erwich, René (2020)
    This article reflects on the recent tv-series ‘Vikings’ from a practical-theological perspective. We deal with the series as a serious expression of the relationship between film and religion. The narrative, reception, style and context are used to present deliberate themes regarding clashes of pagan religion and Christianity. It is contended that the way a series like ‘Vikings’ has been developed and constructed, operates within the perspective of a liquefaction of religion.