Essay about Cinema and Religion

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Cinema and Religion

Entertainment media are contributing to the emergence of new and novel forms of spiritual and religious phenomena in our contemporary (and past) culture. The essays in this issue explore diverse facets of the morphing relationship between entertainment, spirituality and culture. Over the last century, the cinema has played a vital role in the expression and representation of Judeo-Christian religious practices and beliefs. Early cinema told the life of Christ in the Passion Play and Cecil B DeMille produced two spectacular versions of The Ten Commandments in 1923 and 1956. While cinema represented religious themes and figures, religious institutions also shaped the emergence of this moving image technology and its
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In our Post-Millennial era the Heavens are the home for satellites rather than angels and the New Age emphasis upon the paranormal and extraterrestrial as alternative avenues for spiritual expression and self-transformation melds with the prevalent sense of an impending apocalypse that was reactivated by the spectacular disappearance of the Twin Towers on our television screens on 9-11, 2001. Where once God may have been a singular entity that designed the world in seven days, the multi-dimensional relationship between new and existing media technologies now activates multiple worlds and multiple entities. The God/s of the Multi-verse take many and multifarious forms from Elvis to Lara Croft and the signs of the Heaven or Hell emerge in the shopping mall, the television screen, the web site and the comic book panel. Our media heroes are worshipped and our creations come to life.

The task of media research and theory is to articulate how these Post-Millennial forms of religiosity - how the uncanny spaces and the gods in the multiverse - are shaped by the media. How are these spaces of dread or icons of worship articulated? This issue provides a collection of original research and writing on entertainment forms – past and present. It presents an interdisciplinary focus by collating material from historians, theorists, philosophers and practitioners involved in the study and teaching of art, cinema, literature and new media. However, the advantage of Gods in the

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