Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

This course uses major theories of religion in order to investigate religious themes and symbols in a number of contemporary films. In this course we use the screening of a number of religiously evocative films to open up a discursive space within which we can think critically about ourselves, the times in which we live and the role of religion in human life. In order to do this we look at the ways in which powerful religious themes have been dealt with in film. At times the religious themes addressed in movies are overt and tradition-specific while at other times they are covert and universal. Throughout the course of the term we will interrogate filmic texts in order to understand the ways in which religious themes are dealt with through the cinematic medium. But we will also allow the films to interrogate us! In this class we will consider the screening of the films as opportunities for us to reflect upon the nature of religion as we try to come to a better understanding of its place within society and our own lives. The purpose of the course is twofold: first, students learn how to think critically about religion and its place as a social and cultural force in the contemporary world; second, students learn how to apply a critical attitude and deploy academic heuristic tools in order to understand films in sophisticated and informed intellectual ways.