Film as Religion Myths, Morals, and Rituals

ISBN-10: 0814751814

ISBN-13: 9780814751817

Edition: 2003

Authors: John C. Lyden

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View the Table of Contents .nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Read the Introduction . ChoiceOutstanding Academic Title 2003 "Lyden's book is well-written, insightful, and especially engaging for anyone who loves movies."Religious Studies Review "..offers several new perspectives on this increasingly popular and gradually more critical area. It also is wellsuited for the religious studies classroom. Lyden's writing is clear, and he nicely describes some of the more difficult theories of religion in ways that are accessible to undergraduates. In fact, the next time I teach my course "Myth and Ritual on Film" I will assignFilm as Religionbecause of its analogizing methods of showing how film does indeed function as religion in contemporary U.S. culture."Journal of the American Academy of Religion "Lyden offers perceptive criticisms of some of the most influential ways of talking about myth." Crisis Magazine "Lyden lays an imrpessive and sound foundation for his vision: to provide a systematic method for connecting religion and film studies. . . . This is truly significant, immensely compelling, and dynamically provocative work. Essential." Choice Film as Religionargues that popular films perform a religious function in our culture. Like more formal religious institutions, films can provide us with ways to view the world and values to confront it. Lyden contends that approaches which interpret films only ideologically or theologically miss the mark in understanding their appeal to viewers. He develops an alternative method which shows how films can be understood as representing a "religious" worldview in their own right. Lyden surveys the state of the study of religion and film, offering an overview of previous methods before presenting his own. Rather than seeking to uncover hidden meanings in film detectable only to scholars, Lyden emphasizes how film functions for its audiencesthe beliefs and values it conveys, and its ritual power to provide emotional catharsis. He includes a number of brief cases studies in which he applies this method to the study of film genresincluding westerns and action movies, children's films, and romantic comediesand individual films from The Godfather to E.T., showing how films can function religiously.
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Book details

List price: $26.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 6/1/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 289
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.122
Language: English

John C. Lydenis Professor and Chair of the Religion Department at Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. He is the editor ofEnduring Issues in Religion.

A Method for Viewing Film as Religion
Existing Approaches to Religion and Film
The Definition of Religion
Myths about Myth
Rituals and Morals
The Religion-Film Dialogue as Interreligious Dialogue
Genre and Film Analyses
Westerns and Action Movies
Die Hard (1988)
Gangster Films
The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather, Part II (1974)
Melodrama, Tearjerkers, and "Women's Films"
Titanic (1997)
Romantic Comedies
When Harry Met Sally...(1989)
Children's Films and Fantasy
E.T., The Extraterrestrial (1982)
Science Fiction
The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Original Star Wars Films (1977, 1980, 1983)
Thrillers and Horror Movies
Alfred Hitchcock
Psycho (1960)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Name and Subject Index
Film Index
About the Author
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