Bible in Contemporary American Film

  • Professor(s): Nicola Denzey
  • When: 2001
  • Where: Skidmore College / RE330
  • Source
  • Within the past three years, Hollywood has released an unprecedented streak of films which explore ­directly or indirectly ­ Biblical religious themes and symbols: miracles (The Third Miracle; Touch); apocalyptic (End of Days; The Devil¹s Advocate); demonology (Fallen; The Ninth Gate); dogmatism (Dogma), and the spiritual journey (The Matrix; Stigmata). These films have been offered in wide cinematic release; they all feature huge budgets and today¹s most marketable stars. If Hollywood¹s obsession with Christianity tells us anything, it¹s that religious symbols have not lost their potency, even for self-proclaimed atheist slackers of Generation X. Although many of us lack a deep enough understanding of these themes to fully appreciate them, we remain profoundly fascinated by religious symbolism, in however inchoate and garbled a form. This course investigates the inflections of Christianity in modern Hollywood film. Along with regular film viewings, we will be reading sections of the Old and New Testaments as well as other ancient extra-biblical writings, and drawing on contemporary methodologies from cinema studies.

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