One danger and eleven types of academic disquiet whilst hunting for cinematic christ-figures

Anton Karl Kozlovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Christ-figures increasingly permeate the popular cinema, but hunting for them is not necessarily a benign or unproblematic activity. Following a selective review of the film and religion literature, and a preliminary scan of the popular cinema utilizing textually-based humanist film criticism as the guiding analytical lens, one danger and eleven types of academic disquiet were explicated herein. Namely: (1) When Factual Minimalism Equals Certainty: Holy Hope, (2) Misidentification: When Something Supposedly “Christian” Was Something Else, (3) When Nothing Equals Something: Creatio Ex Nihilo, (4) Spiritually Negating Christian Iconography: Form Versus Substance, (5) Some Problems with the Secular-is-Sacred Argument, (6) Film is Not a Substitute for Faith, Religion, or God, (7) Rewriting the Film: Aesthetic Violence?, (8) Tenuous Links, Strained Associations, and Uncertain Correspondences, (9) Rejecting Overt Religion for Covert Religion: Distorting Theology and Misdirecting Faith?, (10) From Symbolism Fatigue to Symbolism Cynicism, and (11) Pattern Appeasement: From Being Uncritical to Narrative Insights. It was concluded that being cognizant of the inherent dangers and sources of academic disquiet is a valuable means of expanding one's visual and intellectual imagination, and also useful for the postmodern church. Further research into the subtextual sub-genre of the religion-and-film field was encouraged, warmly recommended, and is already long overdue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17b
Number of pages31
JournalRupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Christ-figure
  • Jesus Christ
  • Religion-and-film
  • Sacred subtexts

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