RELI 236: Religion and Film
RELI 236-K01: Religion and Film
02:00 PM to 03:15 PM MW
Mason Korea (119 Songdomunhwa-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, Korea) G105
Section Information for Fall 2022
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
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.