Noah narratives, gender issues, and the hollywood hermeneutic

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The exciting field of religion-and-film provides new insights into Holy Writ whenever filmmakers project sacred texts onto the silver screen. One Judeo-Christian film favorite is the diluvial disaster story of Noah and the ark (Gen. 6-9), whether rendered as an epic bio-pic, scriptural fantasy, or sacred subtext. Even “bad” films offer good pedagogic possibilities for via negativa-style biblical exegesis to stimulate one’s religious understanding. Of particular interest is the gender representations of Noah’s family. Consequently, utilizing basic descriptive analysis and a selective review of the critical literature, this chapter investigates eight notable exemplars of Noachian cinema: (1) Noah’s Ark (1928), (2) The Green Pastures (1936), (3) When Worlds Collide (1951), (4) The Bible: In the Beginning…(1966), (5) Noah’s Ark (1999), (6) Northfork (2003), (7) Evan ALMIGHTY (2007), and (8) Noah (2014). Each film is closely read, explicated, and copiously illustrated. The chapter concludes that traditional patriarchal gender portrayals do not vary much and that non-scriptural creative extrapolations frequently focus upon rebelliousness, madness, or heterosexual titillatio.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible
    EditorsSusanne Scholz
    Place of PublicationUnited States of America
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages25
    ISBN (Electronic)9780190462673
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020


    • Gender representation
    • Gender studies
    • Hollywood hermeneutic
    • Noah’s ark
    • Popular cinema
    • Religion-and-film
    • Sacred subtext


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