Religion has played a significant role in film for as long as the art form has existed. However, scholarly interest in film's religious content has recently increased, expanding beyond traditional "high art" films to the more widely distributed and commercially successful movies. Even the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show has religious relevance.
This encyclopedia provides a broad and comprehensive introduction to the topic of religion within film.
Technology has enabled films to reach much wider audiences, enabling today's viewers to access a dizzying number of films that employ diverse symbolism and communicate a vast array of viewpoints. Encyclopedia of Religion and Film will provide such an audience with the tools to begin their own exploration of the deeper meanings of these films and grasp the religious significance within.
Organized alphabetically, this encyclopedia provides more than 90 entries on the larger religious traditions, the major film-producing regions of the globe, the films that have stirred controversy, the most significant religious symbols, and the more important filmmakers. The included topics provide substantially more information on the intersection of religion and film than any of the similar volumes currently available. While the emphasis is on the English-speaking world and the films produced therein, there is also substantial representation of non-English, non-Western film and filmmakers, providing significant intercultural coverage to the topic.
• Presents 91 A–Z entries that illuminate topics of geographic and regional interest, biographic data, categories common in the study of religion, and examinations of specific films or film-related events
• Contains contributions from a remarkable group of distinguished, well-published authorities and younger scholars, all with relevant backgrounds in religion, film, culture, or multiple areas of expertise
• Includes images of important film directors as well as film stills
• Provides selected bibliographic information regarding the intersection of religion and film that supplements the "for further reading" section of each entry
• Offers an indexed filmography of works noted throughout the encyclopedia, providing significant information about each film, such as year released, director, and major actors
• Provides a breadth of entries that cover films from around the globe, across religious traditions, and from a wide variety of important filmmakers
• Contains detailed information accessible to the educated nonspecialist—those with no background in religion or film
• Features numerous images that accompany more than one quarter of the entries