1st Edition

Religion and Film: The Basics

By Jeanette Reedy Solano Copyright 2022
    228 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    228 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Religion and Film: The Basics is an accessible and engaging introduction to the history, diverse approaches, and ideas associated within the study of religion and film. Referencing films from around the world from the early 20th century to the present day, this unique introduction includes the following topics:

    • the history and dynamics of religion and film
    • various methods to approach religion and film
    • the evolution of religion and film scholarship
    • film genre and theory
    • world religions and film
    • unique themes—from race and gender roles to karma and redemption

    A fascinating range of films are discussed, from early silent films such as Hypocrites to recent releases such as Minari. Five genres are explored, including horror in The Wicker Man (UK) and Let the Right One In (Sweden), and world religions are analyzed in films such as OMG, The Big Lebowski, and Malcolm X. Tropes examined include gender in Water, karma in It’s a Wonderful Life, death in Biutiful, redemption in Magnolia, and evil in Get Out.

    With helpful features including recommendations for further study and key films to view, this book is an ideal starting point for students approaching religion and film for the first time as well as those interested in learning more about the field while broadening their methods, knowledge of film, and their film canon.

    1. Discovering the Divine in the Dark: An Introduction to Religion and Film

    2. Dimensions and Bricolage: Methodological Approaches to Religion and Film

    3. Flickering Faith: Exploring World Religions through Film

    4. Shaking with Fear or Laughter: Exploring Religion and Film through Film Genres

    5. Demons, Redeemers, Ghosts and More: Recurrent Tropes in Religion and Film

    6. Before the Credits Roll: A Conclusion


    Jeanette Reedy Solano is Associate Professor at California State University, Fullerton, USA. She is Co-chair of the Religion, Film, and Visual Culture Unit in the American Academy of Religion and serves on the Editorial Board for The Journal of Religion and Film for which she has served as a film critic for Sundance and other film festivals.

    "In Religion and Film: The Basics, Dr. Solano offers the student of religion and film an invaluable resource for navigating contemporary life: a tool for understanding ourselves and the (religious, political, racial) other in and through the cinema. The book is equal parts accessible and irenic, drawing on the best of religion and film scholarship while also being eminently readable. I highly recommend it."

    Kutter Callaway, Associate Professor of Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA.

    "This is a workable introduction for any reader wishing to know more about the field of religion and film. It offers a creative and thoughtful approach to the basics of religion and film that will no doubt inspire many future essays, analyses, and other forms of scholarly work."

    Sofia Sjö, Journal of Religion & Film, Vol. 26: Iss. 2, Article 7. Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol26/iss2/7