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Screening The Sacred / Edition 1

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Overview

What are the religious impulses in the 1976 film Rocky, and how can they work to shape one's social identity? Do the films Alien and Aliens signify the reemergence of the earth goddess as a vital cultural power? What female archetypes, borne out of male desire, inform the experience of women in Nine and a Half Weeks? These are among the several compelling questions the authors of this volume consider as they explore the way popular American film relates to religion. Oddly, religion and film-two pervasive elements of American culture-have seldom been studied in connection with each other. In this first systematic exploration, the authors look beyond surface religious themes and imagery in film, discovering a deeper, implicit presence of religion. They employ theological, mythological, and social and political criticism to analyze the influence of religion, in all its rich variety and diversity, on popular film. Perhaps more importantly, they consider how the medium of film has helped influence and shape American religious culture, secular or otherwise. More than a random collection of essays, this volume brings to the study of religion and film a carefully constructed analytic framework that advances our understanding of both. Screening the Sacred provides fresh and welcome insight to film criticism; it also holds far-reaching relevance for the study of religion. Progressive in its approach, instructive in its analyses, this book is written for students, scholars, and other readers interested in religion, popular film, and the impact of each on American culture.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Twelve essays examine popular film in terms of theological, mythological, and ideological criticism. Topics include Christian allegorical structure, angels, and apocalyptic themes in particular films; myths of space aliens and of the "New Frontier"; and how popular films encourage racism, encode class, and construct gender. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813388304
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Lexile: 1410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 0.48 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Joel W. Martin is associate professor of American studies and religious studies at Franklin and Marshall College. He is the author of Sacred Revolt: The Muskogees’ Struggle for a New World. Conrad E. Ostwalt Jr. is associate professor of religious studies at Appalachian State University. He is the author of After Eden: The Secularization of American Space in the Fiction of Willa Cather and Theodore Dreiser. Joel W. Martin is associate professor of American studies and religious studies at Franklin and Marshall College. He is the author of Sacred Revolt: The Muskogees’ Struggle for a New World. Conrad E. Ostwalt Jr. is associate professor of religious studies at Appalachian State University. He is the author of After Eden: The Secularization of American Space in the Fiction of Willa Cather and Theodore Dreiser.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Seeing the Sacred on the Screen 1
2 Shall These Bones Live? The Problem of Bodies in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and Joel Coen's Blood Simple 19
3 Angels in the Primum Mobile: Dimensions of the Sacred in William Kennedy's Ironweed, Novel and Film 30
4 The Christian Allegorical Structure of Platoon 44
5 Hollywood and Armageddon: Apocalyptic Themes in Recent Cinematic Presentation 55
6 Star Wars: A Myth for Our Time 73
7 With Eyes Uplifted: Space Aliens as Sky Gods 83
8 Evolution of "The New Frontier" in Alien and Aliens: Patriarchal Co-optation of the Feminine Archetype 94
9 Redeeming America: Rocky as Ritual Racial Drama 125
10 From Revelation to Dream: Allegory in David Lynch's Blue Velvet 134
11 Women Spoken For: Images of Displaced Desire 142
12 Conclusion: Religion, Film, and Cultural Analysis 152
Notes and References 161
About the Book and Editors 183
Index 185
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