Bible and Film: The Basics is a concise, accessible, and illuminating introduction to the study of Bible and Film. The book introduces non-specialists to the essential content in Bible and Film, and to some of the most common and important methods Bible and Film scholars use. Questions asked throughout the book include:
- How do films (re)interpret and illuminate biblical texts?
- How do films appropriate, reconfigure, and transform biblical texts?
- How does a film's treatment of biblical texts help interpret and illuminate the film?
This book examines various types of interplay between film and the Bible. The theme of ‘Bible on film’ is explored through Hebrew Bible epics including The Prince of Egypt and Noah, and Jesus films such as The Last Temptation of Christ and Son of Man. The theme ‘Bible in film’ is analyzed through films including Mary Magdalene, Magnolia, Pulp Fiction, and The Book of Eli. Films that ‘reimagine the Bible’ include Ex Machina, mother!, and The Tree of Life; unusual Jesus figures in Pan’s Labyrinth, Dogville, and Donnie Darko are also explored. ‘Film as Bible’ considers films such as To the Wonder, Silence, and Parasite. A conclusion examines television shows such as Dekalog, The West Wing, The Handmaid’s Tale, and God on Trial.
With a glossary of key terms and suggestions for further reading throughout, this book is an ideal starting point for anyone seeking a full introduction to religion and film, bible and film, bible and popular culture, and theology and film.
Table of Contents
2. Hebrew Bible epics
3. Reimagining the Hebrew Bible
4. Jesus films
5. Reimagining Jesus figures
6. Bible in film
7. Film as Bible
8. The future of Bible and film
Matthew S. Rindge is Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University, USA. For six years he chaired the Bible and Film section in the Society of Biblical Literature.
Rindge’s primer on biblical film initiates his readers into both biblical film and biblical film scholarship. Amazingly, along the way, Rindge also finds time to introduce readers to many of biblical scholarship’s tropes (e.g., the messianic secret, the son of man, the move from the Proclaimer to the proclaimed, and the historical Jesus). The last three chapters alone are worth the book’s price as they provide a hermeneutic by which readers can create their own new conversations with the manifold ways that bible and film interact (Bible in Film, Film as Bible, and Bible and Film/TV). Although a primer, Rindge's book, particularly its penultimate chapter, suggests exciting new scholarly possibilities.
Richard Walsh, Methodist University, USA.