Holy Writ and Hollywood: Six Heuristic Categories of Scripture-Quoting Within the Popular Cinema

Anton Kozlovic

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Judeo-Christian Scripture quoted within the popular cinema is frequently an unexpected yet pleasurable occurrence because it embodies diverse meanings that invite investigation. Adele Reinhartz's biblical texts approach to film analysis was utilized as the guiding analytical lens, accompanied by a careful review of the critical literature and a close reading of notable Scripture-quoting exemplars culled from an ad hoc selection of popular Hollywood movies from diverse genres and historical periods. This examination revealed six functional heuristic categories of this fascinating filmic phenomenon, namely, (1) Scripture-quoting as verbal weapon-cum-divine protection, (2) Scripture-quoting as moral guidance, (3) Scripture-quoting as interpersonal jousting, (4) Scripture-quoting as indicator of madness, (5) mock Scripture-quoting, and (6) Scripture-quoting as scene-setting. Each rubric-category was illustrated with key dialogic quotations accurately transcribed, contextualized, and explicated herein. Expanding and refining these categories along with further scholarly research into the emerging interdisciplinary field of religion and film was recommended.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-85
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Media and Religion
    Volume12
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

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