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Film and Archaeology in Latest Religious Studies Review

11th August 2005

Just received the latest Religious Studies Review (Vol. 30, Num. 4, October 2004 — hmm… a tad behind I see!). It has a few review essays that caught my eye:

  • From Theological to Cinematic Criticism: Extricating the Study of Religion & Film From Theology, by Christine Hoff Kraemer (pp. 243-250).
  • Globalizing Christology: Jesus Christ in World Religious Context, by Amos Yong (pp. 259-266).
  • The Origins of the Disciplines of Biblical Archaeology and Biblical Studies, and Their Early Politicization, by Rachel Hallote (pp. 277-282).

As you can discern from its title, the essay on film and religion is concerned that such studies are “still submerged in Christian confessional concerns” and therefore need “to draw more heavily on religious traditions other than Christianity and on secular film and culture techniques.” Fair enough, though in my institutional context the interaction between film and Christianity is still centre stage (In my course on Religion and Popular Culture I will be dealing with the representation of other religious traditions in film and television, using Bend it Like Beckham, The Chosen, and, of course, The Simpsons, as some examples).

The essay on Jesus explores a number of christological works that consciously interact with the world religious context, while the essay on “biblical” archaeology looks at the beginnings of such scholarship and how it relates to where the field of archaeology stands today. (Noting, of course, the irony that the very biblically-oriented faith which inspired the pioneers of archaeology is being actively excluded today).

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