Religion, Theology and Film in a Postmodern Age: A Response to John Lyden

  • Author(s): Clive Marsh
  • When: 1998-04
  • Where: Journal of Religion and Film
  • This paper engages in a critical, creative conversation with John Lyden's article in JRF 1.2. Though affirming the basic tenor of Lyden's approach, this paper presses Lyden to consider that a "commending and critiquing" approach to the task of film interpretation requires greater attention to the ideological basis upon which such a stance is possible. In particular, the theological particularity of discrete religious traditions has to be respected by the scholar of religion. This respect must be shown despite all the attendant institutional complexities which accompany it. The consequences of this need for religious interpreters of film to be more aware of, and consciously working from, the particular hermeneutical (including theological) traditions within which they themselves stand are then drawn out in relation to two films: Shirley Valentine and The Shawshank Redemption.

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