“And You Were There”: A Trip Down the Yellow Brick Road with the Academic Study of Religion

  • Author(s): Laurel Zwissler
  • When: 2014-10
  • Where: Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
  • In a world of proliferating entertainment options and increasingly fragmented fandoms, The Wizard of Oz (1939) remains a rare touchstone of shared cultural familiarity. Yet, while film scholars and historians have examined the movie extensively, not so scholars interested in what relevance it holds for the academic study of religion. This paper serves as an introduction to a roundtable designed to begin redressing that omission. I argue, as the contributions that come next skillfully demonstrate, that following the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy and her friends reveals productive opportunities to explore the North American religious experience.

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