Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-creation of the World

Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-creation of the World

by S. B. Plate

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Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-creation of the World by S. B. Plate

Religion and cinema share a capacity for world making, ritualizing, mythologizing, and creating sacred time and space. Through cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing, and other production activities, film takes the world “out there” and refashions it. Religion achieves similar ends by setting apart particular objects and periods of time, telling stories, and gathering people together for communal actions and concentrated focus. The result of both cinema and religious practice is a re-created world: a world of fantasy, a world of ideology, a world we long to live in, or a world we wish to avoid at all costs.

Religion and Film introduces readers to both religious studies and film studies by focusing on the formal similarities between cinema and religious practices and on the ways they each re-create the world. Explorations of film show how the cinematic experience relies on similar aesthetic devices on which religious rituals have long relied: sight, sound, the taste of food, the body, and communal experience. Meanwhile, a deeper understanding of the aesthetic nature of religious rituals can alter our understanding of film production. Utilizing terminology and theoretical insights from the study of religion as well as the study of film, Religion and Film shows that by paying attention to the ways films are constructed, we can shed new light on the ways religious myths and rituals are constructed and vice versa.

This thoroughly revised and expanded new edition is designed to appeal to the needs of courses in religion as well as film departments. In addition to two new chapters, this edition has been restructured into three distinct sections that offer students and instructors theories and methods for thinking about cinema in ways that more fully connect film studies with religious studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231545792
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 50 MB
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About the Author

S. Brent Plate is a writer, editor, and visiting associate professor of religious studies at Hamilton College. His books include Representing Religion in World Cinema: Filmmaking, Mythmaking, Culture Making (2003); Blasphemy: Art That Offends (2006); and A History of Religion in 5½ Objects: Bringing the Spiritual to Its Senses (2014). Plate is also cofounder and managing editor of the journal Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief.
S. Brent Plate is a Visiting Associate Professor of religious studies at Hamilton College. His books include Religion and Film, Second Edition: Cinema and the Re-Creation of the World (Columbia University Press, 2017) A History of Religion in 5 1/2 Objects: Bringing the Spiritual to its Senses (Beacon Press, 2014), Walter Benjamin, Religion, and Aesthetics: Rethinking Religion Through the Arts (Routledge, 2004), and others. I selected him for his work on religion and film.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction: Worldmaking On-Screen and at the Altar
Part I. Before the Show: Pulling the Curtain on the Wizard
1. Audio-Visual Mythologizing
2. Ritualizing Film in Space and Time
3. Sacred and Cinematic Spaces: Cities and Pilgrimages
Part II. During the Show: Attractions and Distractions
4. Religious Cinematics: Body, Screen, and Death
5. The Face, the Close-Up, and Ethics
Part III. After the Show: Re-Created Realities
6. The Footprints of Film: Cinematic After-Images in Sacred Time and Space

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