RELI 236: Religion and Film

RELI 236-K01: Religion and Film
(Fall 2022)

02:00 PM to 03:15 PM MW

Mason Korea (119 Songdomunhwa-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, Korea) G105

Section Information for Fall 2022

RELI 236 - K01: Religion and Film

Once upon a time, ancient song and ceremonies, carved and painted images, and eventually written texts became historically dominant means of conveying (religious) stories, ideas, and values. But since the turn of the twentieth century film (including digital) has increasingly emerged to join if not supersede these other (popular) media. And whether an audience or even filmmaker explicitly recognizes it or not, religious symbols, concepts, themes, and tensions continue to permeate much cinematic work.

This is a course about how religion has been explicitly as well as implicitly depicted and engaged in feature films (vs. documentaries and other genres). While it is not a “world religions” survey taught with movies nor a find-the-Christ-character in films, this course aims to build upon and further expand understandings of specific (un)familiar religions and aspects of religion as (un)willingly portrayed and creatively engaged in notable movies.

The movies selected for the course are considered significant with respect to director, script, music score, cinematography, and/or impact within the history of the development of film, influence in wider popular culture, etc., aside from any religious dimensions but then also because of how, why, and in what ways something is conveyed about a religion, a key religious aspect, or religion in general – either positively or negatively (or even simultaneously both). The first portion of the course will examine the presentation of particular religions, which will provide a general baseline knowledge of various religions and styles of (significant) feature films. The second portion of the course will explore particular aspects or concepts of religion(s), such as: love/grace/mercy, evil/sin, fate/law/justice, ethics/heroes, [extraordinary] power/freedom, etc.

Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Surveys representations of religious beliefs, practices, persons, and institutions in popular film. Focuses on the media consumption of box office movies in the United States. Examines how religion is imaged in film and how that religious imagination relates to social constructions of national, ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual identities. Limited to three attempts.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.