Screening the Afterlife : Theology, Eschatology, and Film book cover
1st Edition

Screening the Afterlife
Theology, Eschatology, and Film

ISBN 9780415572590
Published December 7, 2011 by Routledge
200 Pages

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Book Description

Screening the Afterlife is a unique and fascinating exploration of the ‘last things’ as envisaged by modern filmmakers. Drawing on a range of films from Flatliners and What Dreams May Come to Working Girl and The Shawshank Redemption, it offers the first comprehensive examination of death and the afterlife within the growing field of religion and film. Topics addressed include:

  • the survival of personhood after death
  • the language of resurrection and immortality
  • Near-Death Experiences and Mind-Dependent Worlds
  • the portrayal of ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’.

Students taking courses on eschatology will find this a stimulating and thought provoking resource, while scholars will relish Deacy’s theological insight and understanding.

Table of Contents

Introduction.  Acknowledgements  1. Mapping the Afterlife in Theology, Eschatology and Film  2. Resurrection or Immortality?: The Body and the Soul in Theology and Film  3. Near-Death Experiences and Mind-Dependent Worlds in Theology and Film  4. Towards a Cinematic Realized Eschatology: The Afterlife as Now  5. Heaven and the New Jerusalem as a Place on Earth: Case Studies of Working Girl and The Shawshank Redemption   6. Punishment or Rehabilitation?: Competing Perspectives on Hell in Theology and Film  7. Conclusion: Using Film to Revisit Eschatology.  Bibliography.  Index

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Christopher Deacy is Senior Lecturer in Applied Theology at the University of Kent, UK. His books include Screen Christologies (2001), Faith in Film (2005) and Theology and Film (2008).


"Chris Deacy is a theologian who knows how to look at film. This is among the best books yet published that evidences a robust two-way dialogue between serious theology and Hollywood films. I will use Screening the Afterlife as I reflect on how best to teach eschatology." - Robert K. Johnston, author of Useless Beauty and Professor of Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA

"This is a book that all biblical scholars, theologians, and philosophers could find very useful for their forays into eschatological theorising, because film may be more meaningful than theological teachings for many people in their reflections on and belief in the afterlife."Gaye Williams Ortiz, Augusta State University, USA in Journal of Contemporary Religion