Encyclopedia of Religion and Film

Encyclopedia of Religion and Film

Encyclopedia of Religion and Film

Encyclopedia of Religion and Film

Synopsis

Gwen and Rhys are on the run. Rhys was hoping this meant a windswept cottage on a cliff top, but he's had to settle for a miserable caravan in the isolated village of Rawbone. With the locals taking an unhealthy interest in their daughter, Gwen and Rhys start to realize that something is very wrong. As they uncover the village's terrible past, Gwen discovers that Torchwood will never leave her behind, and now she and Rhys stand alone in defense of the Earth. And the children of Rawbone can only bring her closer to the secret forces that want her out of the way. Clare Corbett, Kai Owen, Katherine Fenton, Joe Jameson, Carole Boyd, Michael Stevens, and Susie Riddell are the narrators of this thrilling multi-voice narration. Based on the hit series created by Russell T. Davies, Torchwood: First Born is a prequel to Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Excerpt

This work is not intended to be a catalogue of all films made in the global history of filmmaking that include, represent, touch on, or mention specific religions or religion in general. Such a compendium would be dated the instant it was published. Just a few years ago, for the Material History of American Religion Project, scholar Judith Weisenfeld created a “Selected Filmography of American Films,” identifying films in which, in her opinion, religion was “particularly important.” the list was filled with just over 100 titles, many of them classic American films. the filmography that follows the entries in this encyclopedia identifies hundreds of films—many, to be sure, for which religion is not “particularly important”— and that is only for films mentioned in one or more of the entries of this volume. and it is not intended to be an exhaustive list.

Part of the reasoning behind the editorial decision to focus on general topics related to religion and film and not on specific films has to do with debates over definitions. First, because there is no fixed definition for religion, how can one confidently identify all of the films related to it? Sure, The Passion of the Christ (2004) is about a portion of the Christian scripture, but what about E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)? the central figure comes from beyond this world, has a fondness for children and outcasts, is pursued by the government, is resurrected from the dead, and promises to return to those who love him; do the strong allegorical elements make it a religious film? Many clearly and overtly religious films—films in which religion is “particularly important”—are not mentioned in this volume, films that, in conversation, most rational people would identify as related to religion in one way or another. Yet The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) is mentioned several times. Second, as technology stretches the way we understand and integrate various media, how can one confidently identify film? Is it an analog product, or can it include digital work? Is it only that which is “consumed” in theaters, or can it include the “made for television,” “straight to video,” and Internet downloadable markets? For greater ease of use, we have made editorial decisions on both of these issues. By including some things and not others . . .

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