Myth, Religion, and the Man Behind the Curtain

  • Author(s): Michael Ostling
  • When: 2014-10
  • Where: Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
  • The Wizard of Oz exemplifies the “experience of order” some scholars have posited as the heart of both religion and film. But it also undermines the notion that such order requires a transcendent guarantee. Oz provides a vision of religion as no less powerful for having been unmasked as the product of interpersonal human collusion in illusion, thereby reversing the film’s implicit critique of religion. The essay makes use of the motif of “the man behind the curtain” to explore and critique theories of myth and religion from Karl Marx to Russell McCutcheon, Sam Gill, and Jonathan Z. Smith.

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