The Pedagogical Challenges of Finding Christ Figures in Film

Part of book or chapter of book English OPEN
Deacy, Christopher (2008)
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Subject: BL

One of the challenges for theology is the apparent ease with which one can search for correlations between religious narratives/imagery and movie narratives/imagery, and the hunt for Christ figures in movies is certainly leading the pack. Such projects can reach absurd limits, to the point that either Christ figures are simply in the eye of the beholder or the correlations are so flat as to be uninteresting. With so much of that kind of mediocre work going on, Deacy asks these key analytical questions: When is theology an integral part of a film, and when is it brought to a film? To address these challenges of method, he encourages us to push theological considerations beyond Christ typology and into a deeper examination of both the concept of the movie as a whole and its theological implications.
  • References (7)

    Fitch III, John, 'Archetypes on Screen: Odysseus, St. Paul, Christ and the American Cinematic Hero and Anti-Hero', in Journal of Religion and Film, 9 (1), April 2005,

    Gill, Robin, 'The Practice of Faith', in Gareth Jones (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology, Oxford: Blackwell, 2004, pp. 3-17

    Jasper, David, 'On Systematizing the Unsystematic: A Response', in Clive Marsh & Gaye Ortiz (eds.), Explorations in Theology and Film: Movies and Meaning, Oxford: Blackwell, 1997, pp. 235-244

    Jewett, Robert, Saint Paul Returns to the Movies: Triumph over Shame, Cambridge: Eerdsmans, 1999

    Johnston, Robert, Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 2000

    Kozlovic, Anton Karl, 'The Structural Characteristics of the Cinematic Christ-figure', in Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, VIII, Fall 2004, cinematicchrist.html

    Kreitzer, Larry, Gospel Images in Fiction and Film: On Reversing the Hermeneutical Flow, London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002 Loughlin, Gerard, 'Cinéma Divinité: A Theological Introduction', in William Telford, Eric Christianson & Peter Francis (eds.), Cinéma Divinité: Readings in Film and Theology, London: SCM, 2005, pp. 1-12.

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