Religion in Film and Television
This course will explore the ways that religious themes (sacrifice, sin, faith, prophecy), myths (creation, theophany, messianism) and imagery (divine beings, religious artefacts and rituals and locations) are given expression within the narratives of a number of classic and contemporary films and television dramas. Students will learn skills to identify the articulation of religious beliefs, narratives and the sacred or transcendent within the medium of film and television, and to comment critically and informatively on this cultural engagement with religion.
This course will be an important component for students taking Theology and Religious Studies as a major or minor who wish to develop their knowledge about the use of cultural themes and texts in the study of religion. Films and television programmes studied may include Of Gods and Men (2010), Persepolis (2007), The Matrix (1999), Homeland (2011-), God’s Neighbours (2012), Joseph (1995), Lucifer (2016), Samson and Delilah (2009), The Ten Commandments (2006), The Son of God (2014).
By the end of the course, students will:
- Have developed the skills necessary to identify and discuss in an informed way religious themes, myths and images within a number of classic and contemporary films and television dramas
- Have developed an understanding of the ways that religious beliefs, myths and images are utilised in film and television drama narratives to engage with, critique, or affirm religious understandings of a number of themes, beliefs and issues
- Show a knowledge of and ability to engage critically with different methodological approaches to researching film and television as a cultural medium within religious studies
- Become familiar with some of the scholarly literature concerning religion and film/television that has been written by local, national and international scholars
- Have been shown some of the skills required in academic writing and guided through the process of composing an engaging, well-written and well-argued essay
Not taught in 2022
John Lyden (ed.), Routledge Companion to Religion and Film (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010)
THEOREL 306: 15 points
30 points at Stage II